EU programme approves EUR-46.8m tidal energy project in Channel region

Wave. Author: Barbara Walsh. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

October 16 (Renewables Now) - The EU-funded Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme has approved a EUR-46.8-million (USD 51.6m) project that will support tidal stream energy developments in and around the Channel region.

Specifically, the programme, through the European Regional Development Fund, will provide EUR 28 million in financing for the so-called Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project (TIGER), which is led by the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and comprises a total of 19 partners from across the UK and France.

The goal of TIGER is to drive the growth of tidal stream energy by installing up to 8 MW of capacity at sites in and around the Channel region, the tidal energy potential of which approaches 4 GW.

Programme Manager Carolyn Reid stated that long-term objective is to help the sector cut generating costs to about EUR 150 per MWh by 2025 from the current EUR 300/MWh. There is also an EU-set target to achieve EUR 100/MWh by 2030.

Among the remaining partners are Edinburgh-based Orbital Marine Power, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), France’s EDF SA (EPA:EDF) and Minesto AB of Sweden.

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd (LON:SAE), the sustainable energy projects developer behind the huge MeyGen tidal power scheme in Scotland, is also among them. The company said separately that it participates in TIGER through Normandie Hydroliennes, its French joint venture with regional investment fund Normandie Participations and local manufacturer Efinor.

Atlantis noted that the programme will help develop a tidal energy project planned by the company for the Raz Blanchard site off the coast of Normandy, France. Some of the electricity generated by the demonstration array of that project will be sold to Alderney Electricity Limited to supply the Channel island of Alderney. Atlantis also added that this pilot scheme will be a precursor to larger scale arrays in both French and Alderney’s territorial waters.

A press statement says that the TIGER partners are meeting today, October 16, to initiate the project.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.103)

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