The consortium Hydrofan was created in January 2015 after two years of reflection between its partners DCNS, Coriolis Composites, and the University of Southern Brittany. It is launching a research and development program that aims to develop hydrokinetic turbines made of composite materials.
The goal of this project, which will last three years and is funded by the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, is not only to design very high-performing turbines, but also to reflect from the outset on the process of industrialization so that they can produce a series of products at competitive costs. From DCNS’s perspective, the commune of Lorient is the first priority.
The establishment has a studio that specializes in composite materials. The studio has already acquired some know-how on hydrokinetic turbines as it created the demo models at the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal farm.
“The launch of the Hydrofan project is an important step that must allow us to prioritize the development of hydrokinetic power and to prepare the factories of tomorrow. The DCNS Lorient teams have some of the best experts of composite design and manufacturing and we can count on the support of the Brittany region and all of Lorient’s academic and industrial players so that we succeed in this new industrial adventure,” explains Christophe Chabert, Director of French Hydrokinetic Power at DCNS/OpenHydro.
In the coming years, they plan on developing an industrial facility in that will be dedicated to marine energies. This will notably include an assembly factory in Cherbourg. With regards to financing, the local Breton communities (region, department, and agglomeration of Lorient) will support the project to the tune of 830,000 euros (roughly $911,00). Hydrofan’s total budget is 1.879 million euros ($2.06 million). For the regional council, the development of energy, mines, and resources is strategic, not only with regards to industry and employment, but also for responding to the energy needs of the territory.
“Hydrofan fits perfectly into our platform of supporting renewable marine energy. We are particularly attentive to the development of hydrokinetic turbines, because they offer alternative solutions to dependence on the islands (referring to the region’s wind farms) for our energy,” underlines Loïg Chesnais-Girard, Vice President of the Brittany Region.
What do you think of hydrokinetic turbines? Will they become as prevalent a source of sustainable energy as wind turbines? Is hydro energy production being executed in your city or neighboring community? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French, here.
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