Gallery: World’s Largest Tidal Energy Farm to Open in France in 2012

An incredible tidal power project will be be completed in 2012 off the coast of France near Paimpol-Bréhat in Brittany. Sponsored by OpenHydro, a tidal technology company from Ireland, and French utility company EDF, the project will include four massive 850-ton turbines. Once completed, the turbines will harness the power of the tides, providing enough energy to power 4,000 homes in the region, and it will become the world's largest tidal power array.

The $55 million project was conceived in 2004, with construction starting in 2008, and is set to be complete early next year. OpenHydro has similar projects in North America and the United Kingdom, but this new French turbine system will be the world’s first large scale grid-connected tidal energy farm, setting the bar for other nations of the world.

OpenHydro is supplying the four 2-MW turbines, 115 deep off the coast of Paimpol-Bréhat. The turbines are each 72 feet in diameter and are anchored along the seabed.

Along with solar power and wind turbines, tidal energy is an important renewable energy source that is underutilized at the moment. A major benefit of tidal turbine farms versus wind and solar farms is that they operate sight unseen. From the surface, the turbines are invisible and noiseless. OpenHydro states that the farms have no effect on the neighboring communities.

Each turbine was designed with a large, open center to allow marine life to pass through without risk of being caught or entangled in the blades. The turbine also turns without pollutants such as oils and greases, and produce little mechanical noise underwater.

The tidal farm will be in operation next year, and we’re sure the world will be watching to gauge its effectiveness and profitability.

+ OpenHydro

Via CleanTechnica



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  1. gontier June 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Those 850-ton turbines look very impressive with a nice aesthetic, and I like the fact that they do not pollute sea life, but why not house them in gated sluiceway tubes that arc up from the seabed to above sea-level for onshore maintenance, perhaps tapering down like nautilus shells with turbines housed in each of its above-surface narrowing chambers, and an escape vent at the top/end for dissipated seawater to be ejected back onto the sea’s surface.

  2. NoceanMan November 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Im a 31 year old Artist/ Woodworker/Mechanic/Filmaker/ with a geat interest in science and its stuff like this that getts me excited about this large “wave” of potential energy that we will be harvesting in the next 30 years and on. Lets make sure we consider the posibble malfunctions or sideeffects of that large scale so we can keep one progression from creating another detriment somewhere else, that has always seemed to be the problem with the human race.

  3. poland.jr November 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

    $ 55,000,000/4000 homes = $13,750 per home. That is enough for over 2 kilowatts of solar per unit. Transmission cost eliminated and probably much lower maintenance costs. Impressive engineering but sometimes smaller is better.

  4. winzurf November 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Surely the other significant advantage is that the energy supply is entirely predictable

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