DCNS in 2015
AT PAIMPOL-BRÉHAT, DCNS IS DEVELOPING A NEW GREEN... AND BLUE ENERGY
A tidal turbine connected to the national grid: a world first
DCNS and its subsidiary are also finding buoyant currents on the international scene, with projects for pilot farms in the Channel Islands, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Canada, OpenHydro, together with Emera, a North American energy operator, has set up a joint-venture called Cape Sharp Tidal. This company has already built two prototype tidal turbines, which it will soon be commissioning in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, where the highest tides in the world ebb and flow. These are all precursors to major commercial farms with mass production in sight. From Paimpol to Nova Scotia and Cotentin, DCNS and OpenHydro have come a long way since their partnership began in 2011 (1). The French industrial giant and the Irish start-up, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015, immediately found much in common. When they first visited OpenHydro’s head office in Dublin, the DCNS managers detected a rare combination of technological, business and environmental prowess. Making it possible to
DCNS puts all its expertise into producing the first machines
maximise the potential of tidal turbines: clean, silent and invisible energy which, in contrast with solar and wind power, can be reliably forecast, like the tides. For its part, OpenHydro found in DCNS the major industrial partner it needed, with expertise complementing its own, providing the capacity to produce on a large scale, as well as offering turnkey solutions, including installation and maintenance worldwide. The first submerged tidal turbine at Paimpol-Bréhat therefore completes a virtual circle. Its greatest asset is a simple and robust design, known as the “Open-Centre Turbine”: a rotor fitted with blades that the tides turn within a fixed ring, the stator. All with a minimum number of components, no liquid lubricant required and simplified controls. The tidal turbine is designed to resist corrosion in a marine environment and produce electricity at a competitive price, while having a minimal impact on the environment. Its open centre and low rotation speed allow fish and marine mammals to pass through it in total safety. As it is fully submerged, it does not interfere with fishing or leisure vessels and does not need an exclusive zone. This technological advance perfectly matches DCNS’ industrial proficiency. The Group mobilised and orchestrated its sites’ various fields of expertise throughout 2015 to produce the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal turbines. Lorient, specialised in composite materials, manufactures the blades, while the Cherbourg site assembles the rotors and Brest assembles the whole unit. This collective sharing incorporates knowhow provided by dozens of regional SMEs, resulting in an emerging sector of excellence specialised in tidal turbines. Leveraging the Group’s growth strategy in marine renewable energies (MRE), focuse on three technologies: tidal turbines, floating wind turbines and thermal ocean energy. The ambition is clearly asserted. DCNS aims to generate 25% of its income in MRE between now and 2025. Thereby making a significant contribution to the target France announced at the COP21: having renewable energies supplying 32% of the country’s energy consumption by 2030.
(1) In 2011, DCNS acquired 8% of OpenHydro’s capital, and then 62.4% in 2013.
In 2016, OpenHydro and its Canad i an partner Emera will be installing an experimental farm with two tidal turbines in the Bay of Fundy – a first step towards creating a large-scale industrial farm ”
AGNÈS CASENAVE — Farm project programme manager Cape Sharp, Canada, Marine Energies & Infrastructure department
Find out more about this topic at:
DCNS | ANNUAL CORPORATE AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT 2015 34