Brittany improves its Paimpol-Bréhat tidal test site to consolidate its international position.

Thanks to the recent reconfiguration of the submarine link, the site now benefits from a three-phase alternating current connection, connectable out of the water. Connected to the French power grid, the test site, which is part of the European TIGER (Tidal Stream Energy Industry Energize) project, the largest INTERREG project ever launched, will be part of the new Open-C Foundation. It will be created by the end of the year, and its aim is to federate and animate the five French marine energy test sites, one of which is also Breton: Sainte-Anne-du-Portzic (floating wind and wave energy test site).

The Paimpol-Bréhat tidal turbine test site is an exceptional site for testing and optimizing fullscale tidal turbines in ocean conditions since it also has the major distinction of being connected to the national power grid. With ten years of experience, it covers 3.5 hectares, in the north-east of the island of Bréhat in Brittany. It is operated by EDF and SEENEOH Bretagne with the support of the Brittany Region and Ocean Power. Connection to a three-phase AC power outlet that is operational since September.

In mid-September, the reconfiguration work on the submarine link was carried out, still improving the attractiveness of the site for developers. From now on, the tidal turbine demonstrators can be connected to a three-phase alternating current socket. Further improvement: the connection is now made using a terminal plug that can be connected out of the water, avoiding the underwater connection by divers.

This reconfiguration work was carried out as part of the European TIGER project under the sponsorship of the Brittany Region and EDF and with co-funding from the INTERREG Channel programme. The TIGER project aims to demonstrate that tidal energy is a mature industry, capable of achieving an accelerated cost reduction path. It is the largest project ever approved, not only by the France (Channel) England programme, but by any other Interreg programme.

From 2019 to 2021, the Grenoble-based company HydroQuest and its partner CMN (Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie) have successfully tested their 1MW HydroQuest Ocean marine turbine on the Paimpol – Bréhat test site, validating in particular its power curve.

Breton companies at the heart of the project

Brittany is thus pursuing its commitment to tidal and wave energy. Its three test sites: PaimpolBréhat (tidal turbine test site), Sainte-Anne-du-Portzic (floating wind and wave energy test site) and Ria d’Etel (tidal turbine test site) and its pilot sites for wave energy prove it. It is also a whole ecosystem of companies positioned on the entire value chain of offshore wind and marine energies which participate in technological development. In June, Bretagne Ocean Power that structures the industrial fabric of offshore wind and marine energies in Brittany, launched a directory of Breton companies specializing in marine renewable energies, listing 175 companies, with over 260 references.

About Bretagne Ocean Power: Bretagne Ocean Power is a collective dynamic initiated by the Brittany Region to accelerate the development of a regional marine renewable energy sector. Bretagne Ocean Power supports local companies in order to match their offers with the needs of contractors. Bretagne  Développement Innovation coordinates and promotes this Breton collective. The founding members of Bretagne Ocean Power are : Breizh EMR, Bretagne Commerce International, Bretagne Développement Innovation, Bretagne Pôle Naval, CCI Bretagne, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, 7 technology parks in Brittany. More information :

About EDF: EDF is a French energy company whose objective is to build a CO2-neutral energy future, reconciling preservation of the planet, well-being and development, thanks to electricity and innovative solutions and services. Since 1966, EDF has been working on the development of marine energies, in particular through its La Rance tidal power plant in Brittany and the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal turbine test site, which it has been operating since 2008.

About SEENEOH: SEENEOH manages and operates an estuarine test site in Bordeaux, Gironde, and has transferred its know-how to the Paimpol-Bréhat offshore test site, providing support to EDF in all its areas of expertise.

About the Brittany Region: With 2,730 km of coastline, the largest coastline in France, powerful currents, regular winds and the largest tides in Europe, Brittany has an exceptional potential for testing, experimenting and exploiting the various sources of marine energy. In order to reduce the region’s energy dependence, to fight against global warming and to encourage the development of a strong industrial sector in Brittany with international influence, the Brittany Region is pursuing a very proactive policy in favor of the development of offshore wind and marine energies.

Source: Bretagne Développement Innovation