Homepage News Creation of the OPEN-C Foundation, Europe’s largest offshore testing centre for Marine Renewable Energies

Creation of the OPEN-C Foundation, Europe’s largest offshore testing centre for Marine Renewable Energies

On March 22, 2023

Following its publication in the Journal Officiel on 21st March 2023, the 10 public and private founding members (Ifremer, Centrale Nantes, ITE France Énergies Marines, EDF, RTE, TotalEnergies, Technip Energies, Valorem, Valeco, Énergie de la Lune) proudly announce the creation of the OPEN-C Foundation, Europe's largest offshore test centre entirely geared towards floating wind turbines and marine renewable energies.

The culmination of three years of cooperation, this research infrastructure has set itself the task of coordinating, developing and piloting offshore testing of multiple technologies: floating wind, tidal and wave energy, offshore hydrogen, floating photovoltaics, etc.

It brings together five offshore test sites designed to test the most innovative prototypes on all of France’s coastlines, the OPEN-C Foundation will also benefit from very varied study conditions.

In the words of Bertrand Alessandrini, who prefigured the Foundation and who coordinates the marine infrastructures at Centrale Nantes:

Today's, energy transition implementation is leading to an active search for solutions. Marine Renewable Energies (MRE) will undoubtedly be part of the answer.  A major ramping up of MRE development is now underway and offshore testing is absolutely essential for technological innovation in this field.

Hosting innovative, ambitious and groundbreaking technology demonstration projects

Over the next three years, the OPEN-C Foundation will make several major global innovations more reliable, including testing five separate prototypes of second-generation floating wind turbines, producing green hydrogen offshore and testing floating photovoltaic systems.
For a project leader, a test site like that provided by the OPEN-C Foundation can be used to accelerate and control the risks of major trials while benefiting from support levers such as permits, connection infrastructure, site characterisation data and feedback from research teams.

Funding and governance: 10 founders and 5 regions involved

The Foundation's first Board of Governors will meet in the next few days to elect the Executive Committee and its President, who will then appoint a Managing Director responsible for the operational management of the Foundation. This Board of Governors brings together the 10 founding partners and a number of experienced professionals.

A consolidated budget of €400M for projects is planned for the first ten years of operation, with funding split approximately two-thirds private and one-third public.

Five French regions with a history of involvement in the construction of this new industrial sector are also supporting the project: Normandy, Brittany, Pays de la Loire, Occitanie and Région Sud. They will be represented by experienced individuals on the Board of Governors.

Alongside the 10 founders and the 5 regions, there will also be representatives from the fisheries sector, environmental associations, research and business; providing a source of sometimes heated discussions but with the promise of balanced decisions.