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1 The budget

The idea of test tidal turbines in the gulf is almosta sea serpent. “It’s a well-thought-out project,” comments Mouncef Sedrati, teacher-researcher at the University of South Brittany. Since 2014, the “ocean geosciences” laboratory has studied the project from every angle: plankton, noise, but also perception of the population. “There are 2000 pages. Everything that can be modeled on a computer has been modeled, but at some point you have to experiment in reality, ”argues the researcher. The project is there.

But since September, he also has a budget tied up. Out of € 8.20 million, Europe is investing € 4.80 million in the framework of the “Tiger” projects (aid for research and development of tidal turbines in France and Great Britain), the shareholders of Morbihan Hydro Energies 1.20 and the bank of the territories 2.2 via fundraising.

In MHE, a simplified joint-stock company, we find Sabella, marine tidal turbine specialist (51%), and Morbihan Energies, union of inter-municipal cooperation (49%).

2 The calendar

The schedule is getting clearer. After the finalization of seven new studies in 2020, the requests for environmental authorization and the use of the public maritime domain have just been sent to the State services.

The public inquiry will be launched in the summer. “Because this is the period when the population is most present in the coastal towns”, specifies Christophe Laly, director of Morbihan Énergies. “A few days ago the MHE steering committee brought together all the State services, the Ademe, the Region, the Vannes agglomeration, the town of Arzon, the natural park, fishermen, shellfish farmers , boaters, Clim’actions. Intellectually, everyone finds the project interesting. Let the people who agree come and say it! “, Calls Jo Brohan, president of MHE and Morbihan Énergies. The state’s response is expected in November. If it is a green light, the construction of the tidal turbines will be launched for installation in November 2022.

3 The site

The establishment is confirmed between the tip of Monténo in Arzon and the southern tip of Île Longue, to facilitate the delivery of energy to land. “There will be transparent scientific monitoring”, assures Mouncef Sedrati. Turbines should cover the annual consumption excluding heating of 365 households.

“Compared to wind power, these are small machines,” explains Thomas Archinard, Sabella’s project manager. With measurements of 16 meters wide by 14 high and blades of 3.5 m, they promise to be neutral for navigation. “As in Ouessant, they will be weighted bases with no impact on the seabed. In the Gulf, we will experiment with new inverter and connection technology to limit maintenance costs ”. The impact of the passage of cables on the eelgrass beds will be offset by the installation of ecological moorings.

The duration of the experiment is set at three years. “Our mission is to work on the energy transition. Of all the low-carbon means of production, the tides are the most regular energy. Nothing of the jewel that is the Gulf is destroyed, on the contrary, ”says Jo Brohan, who underlines the energy, environmental and technological issue of the dossier.

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