15% of the electricity needs of the island of Ouessant will be covered by a single marine turbine, the D10, the first of its kind to be installed in Europe.

The D10, the first submerged marine turbine in France, finally hits the water. His goal? Produce electricity for the Breton island of Ouessant, 20 km off the coast of Finistère.

The project was stopped in April 2016 following the discovery of a failure of the submarine power cable during installation operations. During these two years the machine has been repaired and improved, doubling the conversion efficiency, and today it is well located 55 meters from the sea surface, on the seabed of the Pasaje de Fromveur.

This expanse of sea is famous for being crossed by very strong currents, which can easily reach 9 knots. For Sabella, manufacturer of this marine turbine, it is the ideal place to test its efficiency. The tests in French waters will last three years and will allow the company to expand its plans, by increasing the size of the machines.

The unit currently measures 10 meters in diameter and has a capacity of 1 MW; Its task is to transform the kinetic energy of currents into electricity, sending it to the island where it will be stored in a storage system specially designed for this project.

The integration of the two systems makes it possible to better cover the consumption of Ouessant families, by providing them with up to 15% of their electricity needs (before the improvements, the percentage of consumption covered by D10 was only 5%).

“In Ouessant, we will soon have to put the tidal hours in our washing machines,” jokes the mayor of the island Denis Palluel. “We want to pave the way for a complete energy transition that significantly reduces carbonization on the island, making Ouessant a showcase for French clean technologies.

The energy system will be replicated in 2021, still in the Fromveur Strait: the company plans to install two D12 marine turbines, also coupling them in this case with storage systems. In the same period, it is expected to complete the installation of three D15 units in the San Bernardino Strait, in the Philippines, to supply the 15,000 inhabitants of the island of Capul.

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More information: euractiv.com