Two of France’s top companies have agreed to equip a new tidal power pilot farm near Cherbourg on the French coast.

Alstom (Euronext: ALO) and GDF Suez (Euronext: GSZ) have signed a cooperation agreement to equip the raz Blanchard tidal power pilot farm.

The companies are to set up various technical parameters to tap the marine currents at the site, as well as propose an operation and maintenance strategy for the pilot farm.

The companies will also prepare a roadmap to exploit the positive socio-economic benefits of the new activity throughout the region and the country.

Alstom has reached full nominal power of 1 MW for its tidal turbine being tested under European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) waters, off Scotland’s Orkney Islands, and has generated over 10MWh of electricity to the grid.

Once trial testing is completed, the company will test the performance of the turbine under real operating conditions.

In addition, Alstom will enter into an agreement with Ports Normands Associes (PNA) that would allow the project partners to carry out the final assembly of the turbines, the erection of the foundations and all maintenance operations from Cherbourg, should it be awarded the pilot farms.

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