Atlantis drafts €3.3 billion tidal investment chance for France

Atlantis' AR1500 tidal turbine at Nigg Energy Park (Photo: Atlantis Resources)

Atlantis Resources has submitted a strategic plan to the French government setting out plans to deliver 1GW of tidal power by 2025 at the Raz Blanchard, located off the Normandy region.

The study filed by Atlantis concludes that 2GW of tidal energy is immediately available to be harnessed in the Raz Blanchard, while 1GW could be operational by 2025 with potential to create up to 10,000 jobs and attract more than €3 billion of CAPEX investment.

Upon the commissioning of the final phase of the proposed 1GW project, the Levelized Cost Of Energy (LCOE) for tidal energy could hit the prices lower than any offshore wind farm currently under construction in France or in the UK, according to Atlantis.

The study also determined that Raz Blanchard has one of the best tidal energy resources in the world and after the construction of the first 1GW, the site could be quickly expanded to 2GW by 2027.

Atlantis is actively pursuing an opportunity to develop a reference site on the coast of Normandy, and is also seeking the assistance of the French government to facilitate the investments in the region’s local supply chain and maritime infrastructure.

Atlantis’ plans for the French territorial waters will require the development a strong local supply chain to fabricate turbines and perform offshore construction activities.

In addition to potentially attracting over €3 billion in CAPEX investment, the Atlantis proposal includes the development of a dedicated, state of the art turbine assembly, testing and operations and maintenance facility in Normandy upon award of commercial tenders for large scale arrays.

Discussions with French government and Normandy officials have taken place to discuss the industrial plan, Atlantis noted.

Tim Cornelius, CEO of Atlantis, said: “France is sitting on a low cost renewable energy gold mine at Raz Blanchard. Now that the tidal steam industry has been through the R&D phase and is now entering full scale commercialization, France should be at the forefront of exploiting this environmentally benign, predictable and inexhaustible source of renewable energy.

“Our proposal, if implemented, could quickly create a new industry in France attracting investment in local companies to establish a supply chain capable of delivering more than thousand 1.9MW tidal turbines along with their associated foundations and the onshore infrastructure.

“With the support of the French government, we can provide energy security, job creation, economic stimulation for the Normandy and Brittany regions along with the opportunity to lead Europe in the field of marine energy generation.”

France is actively involved in developing tidal stream experimentation sites and pilot projects in preparation of tidal commercial rounds recently announced by Environment secretary of state Sebastien Lecornu.

Studies commissioned by the French government are currently underway to assess tidal power’s best sites in the French maritime waters ahead of commercial tenders.

Conclusions from Maritime Prefectures are expected in June this year, Atlantis said.

The independent proposal compiled by Atlantis intends to build on the success of the MeyGen project in Scotland where more than 6GW of predictable renewable power has been generated.

In March 2018, the MeyGen project claimed a new world record for monthly production from a tidal stream array by exporting 1,400MWh to the grid.

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