Brest (AFP)

An experimental project to immerse two tidal turbines in the Gulf of Morbihan by the end of 2022 should be subject to public inquiry this summer, announced Monday the company Morbihan Hydro Energies, which has been carrying the project for two years.

Currently in the appraisal phase, the project will be the subject of a public inquiry "this summer", the company said in a statement.

"The operational launch of the experiment is scheduled for the second half of 2022," she adds.

Morbihan Hydro Energies is 51% owned by the Quimper-based SME Sabella, specializing in the development of tidal turbines, and 49% by the Mixed Economy Company (Sem) 56 Energies, whose objective is to help Morbihan communities to face the challenges of energy transition.

"This involves submerging two Sabella type turbines in the current of the Mare for a period of three years," Christophe Laly, director of 56 Energies, told AFP.

The Jument Current is a strong sea current located in the Gulf of Morbihan, between Berder Island and Jument Island.

"The interest of this project is to see if the technology is reliable, if there is an impact or not in this place vis-à-vis the production, environmental issues, natural and activity and to verify the quality of the electricity produced ", explained Christophe Laly.

At a cost of 8.5 million euros, the project is supported up to 65% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Interreg Tiger project which promotes marine renewable energies (MRE).

The two 14-meter-high tidal turbines, "a little different" from each other, will be submerged to a depth of more than 20 meters.

The two turbines, with a diameter of 3.5 meters, will have a power of 250 kW each.

They will be able to supply electricity to some 400 households excluding heating.

© 2021 AFP