CHERBOURG, France 3/19/12 (PennWell) -- Representatives from the Basse-Normandie Region, the Ports of Normandy Authority and naval technologies manufacturer DCNS have signed a memorandum of understanding that allocates areas of the Port of Cherbourg for tidal turbine operations.
Under the agreement, space will be reserved for DCNS on the Quai des Flamands inside the Port of Cherbourg.
The company says an additional agreement will be drafted within a year to finalize financial arrangements and adjust the perimeter of previously allocated areas.
"Allocating several hectares of space to DCNS at the Port of Cherbourg is a clear sign that we support the development of full-scale renewable industry in Basse-Normandie," Basse-Normandie Region president Laurent Beauvais says.
DCNS says operations could begin as early as 2014, with the establishment of an industrial facility to fabricate, install and maintain the tidal turbines.
The memorandum is only the latest in a string of recent ocean power-related moves for the Paris-based company.
In 2011, DCNS Group acquired an 11% share of OpenHydro, which is working with French utility EDF to develop a pilot farm of four tidal turbines at Paimpol-Brehat. The partners plan to produce about 100 tidal turbines per year in Cherbourg by 2018, DCNS says.
DCNS also signed an agreement in February 2012 with Alderney Renewable Energy to develop a turbine farm in the English Channel.