Edinburgh-based multinational marine generators Nova Innovation have successfully installed their tidal technology in the Étel Estuary, bringing their 100 kW turbine to France for the first time.

The marine engineers already count six live generating projects, from Wales & Canada. Two more ventures will be deployed in the latter this year.

The company’s Eunice turbine has contributed to the Shetland Islands’ grid since 2016.  Configured around a single-blade rotor 8.6 metre in diameter, the kit is built to last for twenty years.

As in Shetland and Canada, Nova worked with local experts and suppliers to ensure success of its French project, delivered as part of the ELEMENT project in partnership with CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency).

The Étel flows into the Atlantic near Lorient, Britanny.  The shoreline showcases one of Brittany’s most beautiful natural landscapes, and the engineers say their robust environmental credentials were a key factor to site approval.

Mounted on the sea-bed, Nova’s turbines create no visual impact or navigational hazard, so oyster fishermen, yachtsmen and kayakers are unaffected by the turbines.

France & Britain shared the majority of Europe’s tidal races, Nova CEO Simon Forest noted.

“We are delighted to have successfully delivered this project in collaboration with our French partners and the European Commission. The potential for tidal energy in France is huge and this pan-European collaboration has demonstrated a continued path of cost reduction alongside enhanced reliability.

“The demonstration of our technology in estuaries and rivers significantly increases the global market for our turbines. Nova is perfectly placed to help deliver the EU’s tidal energy ambitions and play its part in Europe’s energy security”, added the fabricators’ boss.


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