During his trip to Cherbourg, France, on September 30, 2013, French president François Hollande officially kicked off the development of a French tidal power sector by announcing a call for expression-of-interest to build four pilot sites, each with 4-10 water current turbines, in two high potential areas off the French coast: one in Raz Blanchard (Basse-Normandie), the other in Fromveur (Brittany).
Leveraging this momentum, elected officials from Basse-Normandie led a delegation of representatives from the French region's research, training and economic development organizations, to visit EMEC, the European Marine Energy Center in Scotland, a unique test and experimentation center for Renewable Marine Energy (RME) in marine environments.
The Basse-Normandie delegation's visit to EMEC and the meetings with local RME stakeholders, which took place today, enabled French stakeholders to identify the industry's real-world needs and plan potential future adaptations of this type of organization in the Basse-Normandie area.
Laurent Beauvais, President of the Basse-Normandie Region, said, "We would like to leverage existing experiments and projects in Europe, in particular EMEC, the major experimental site, to determine how to enhance Normand tidal power potential as quickly as possible, creating added value to this territory which cannot be a mere energy production site."
Jean-François Le Grand, President of the Manche General Council, said, “Visiting the experimentation centre, EMEC, allows us to better appreciate territorial implications of such a project and to prepare the first tangible applications in Basse-Normandie, in particular in the Manche.”
André Rouxel, President of the Cherbourg Urban Community, said, “What we see today at EMEC announces the future of Cherbourg and Basse-Normandie. Industrials are testing here machines which will be installed in the pilot site at Raz Blanchard.”