The Sabella D10 project was nominated in 2011 as part of the “Marine Renewable Energy Demonstrators” call for interest launched by ADEME (French Agency for Environment and Energy Management) and received funding through the “Investments for the Future” national program. A complementary subsidy from the European Regional Development Fund was awarded by the Brittany region.
The project is noteworthy in a number of respects:
• widespread social acceptance;
• 100% French construction;
• structural industrial partnerships;
• output dispatched to Ouessant under the control of EDF SEI and ENEDIS; and
• environmental considerations supervised by the Iroise Marine Natural Park.
The project consisted of the construction and 12-month deployment of an industrial tidal stream generator in Fromveur Passage (also known as St Vincent’s Channel). During slack water periods in May 2015, the cable to export the electricity produced was installed between the generator site and the coast of Ouessant (Ushant). In June 2015, the D10 was lowered into the Fromveur Passage in a water depth of 55 m; by November 2015 the D10 was connected to the island network via the previously installed cable. The D10 was the first tidal turbine to supply electricity to the French grid. The generator is 17 m high and has a footprint of 20 x 20 m; its 10-metre rotor can generate 1 MW from the currents in the Fromveur Passage.
Initial results for the project were promising and in line with expectations, and also opened up future avenues for improvement. In July 2016, at the end of the period for which on-site installation was authorised, the turbine was raised to the surface for technical inspection and expert appraisal.
The turbine was redeployed in October 2018 as part of the European Intelligent Community Energy (ICE) project. Following continuous electricity production over several months, Sabella’s team focused on testing new control methods at the beginning of 2019 in order to significantly improve the efficiency of the turbine and contribute to the competitiveness of this emerging sector
Fromveur Passage, off the coast of Ushant Island, Brittany.
In April 2019 Sabella recovered the D10 turbine from the Fromveur Passage for a servicing period of approximately three months off the port of Brest. The turbine is planned to be redeployed on its foundation and connected to Ushant Island, for operation until 2021 and the commissioning of the PHARES (Progressive Hybrid Architecture for Renewable Energy Solutions in islands) project, led by AKUO Energy, including two Sabella tidal turbines, a wind turbine, solar energy and energy storage (implemented by EDF SEI).