EU approves French state-aid support for tidal farm project

Illustration (Photo: GE Renewable Energy)

The European Commission (EC) has authorized French plans to support tidal energy farm demonstration project at Raz Blanchard, off Normandy.

EC has determined that the proposed 5.6MW NEPTHYD (Normandie Energie PiloTe HYDrolien) tidal farm project is in line with EU state aid rules.

France plans to support the construction of the plant, through a direct grant and repayable advances, which will be reimbursed if the technology proves successful.

Moreover, each unit of energy produced will receive a feed-in tariff, EC informed.

EC found the project supports market entry of a novel renewable energy technology in line with the guidelines, stating that the aid will be limited to the cost of producing electricity from such a plant, which will ensure that the operator is not overcompensated.

NEPTHYD project is jointly developed by Engie and GE Renewable Energy, and will feature four GE Oceade 18 turbines with 1.4MW in capacity each. Once fully constructed, the tidal turbines will be able to supply power to 15,000 people.

A subsidiary of the Engie group, selected by means of a tender procedure, will build and operate the plant for 20 years, according to EC.

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