Immersed at a depth of 55 m in the Fromveur current (one of the most powerful currents in Europe), the D10 now supplies up to 75% of the electricity needs of the island of Ouessant during high tides. This tidal turbine was the first to be connected to an electricity network in France.
It continues to operate but Sabella, the Quimper company created in 2008 which operates it (around twenty employees) now finds itself in receivership following a deliberation by the Quimper commercial court. Sabella had been facing cash flow problems for months, in fact years, lack of an opening of the tidal turbine market in Francewhich did not allow it to find partners and investors.
Under these conditions, specifies management in a press release, “we are putting in place solutions to continue the activity of its employees (conservation of their know-how), maintain the continuity of service in Ouessant, continue the projects currently under development , promote tidal energy among energy companies and find new financiers as soon as the State has given the necessary visibility to the sector. »
“Our teams are currently responding to calls for tenders in the field of defense and renewable energies,” ure Sabella managers. However, they continue, the absence of a legal framework prevents new investors from financing the continuation of our development. Only the establishment of tidal farms will allow us to become beneficiaries and for this we need the State to include tidal turbines among the renewable energies developed in France. The challenge is to develop in Brittany an industrial sector providing numerous jobs, focused on the sea and renewable energies.
Sabella planned to build a tidal turbine production plant in Brest. But now in cessation of payments, the company now has six months to find capital and bounce back. On the Iroise Sea side, for the moment, no worries, the tidal turbine will not let go of the Ouessant residents anytime soon…