Homepage News SEM-REV joins the OPEN-C Foundation to continue testing and innovating in the field of MRE!

SEM-REV joins the OPEN-C Foundation to continue testing and innovating in the field of MRE!

On September 6, 2023

It's official: since 1st September 2023, the SEM-REV offshore test site is exclusively operated by the OPEN-C Foundation. Centrale Nantes, which in 2007 initiated what will rapidly become the 1st multi-technology offshore test site, is continuing its research activities and supporting the site as it evolves. Through this transfer of activity, and as a founder of the OPEN-C Foundation, Centrale Nantes is helping to accelerate the energy transition in France thanks to Renewable Marine Energies. Here's a look back at what the SEM-REV has achieved so far and its future within the newly-created OPEN-C Foundation, which will coordinate offshore testing entirely dedicated to floating wind turbines and marine renewable energies!

An innovative idea in 2007, the SEM-REV has become an essential testing facility for MRE in France since 2015.

The SEM-REV adventure began more than 15 years ago at Centrale Nantes and the LHEEA Laboratory (Hydrodynamics, Energy and Atmospheric Environment Laboratory), a mixed unit reseach with the CNRS, which was already a pioneer in the field of marine energy, with teams that had been working for several decades on wave power, particularly in ocean engineering tanks.

The idea of being able to carry out tests under real conditions, the ultimate stage in validating a technology before moving on to commercial scale, may have seemed daring in 2007. But meeting the R&D needs of the Marine Renewable Energy technologies currently being developed was becoming a major challenge for the development of a new industrial sector in France to meet the emerging needs of the energy transition. The Pays de la Loire Region, which was the first to support the creation of the SEM-REV, the French government through the programme “Investments for the Future”, the European Union, the Loire Atlantique Department, Centrale Nantes and the CNRS funded this new testing facility in France.

That’s when the construction of SEM-REV began, with a number of stages that enabled an operational site to be made available to industry and academics in 2015. Since then, 3 offshore energy recovery prototypes have been tested: BW Ideol’s Floatgen floating wind turbine, the first offshore wind turbine in France, GEPS Techno’s wave energy platform and LHYFE’s hydrogen production. In addition, numerous projects have been carried out covering a wide range of topics, such as the characterisation of meteorological and oceanographic data, testing of technological components, monitoring and environmental characterisation of the site and the impact of installed prototypes, equipment maintenance, as well as support for training marine rescue services… This is another of SEM-REV’s fundamental missions.

SEM-REV would not exist without the teams and partners who have made it an essential testing facility for MRE.

SEM-REV is a testing facility, but it is and always has been run by people who are passionate about their work, research and innovation, and who have believed in this great adventure at Centrale Nantes and now at the OPEN-C Foundation from the outset. The transfer of the site to the OPEN-C Foundation involves the same team as before, but this step is an opportunity to pay tribute to all those who have contributed to it, from the first idea, through the construction stages, right up to the hosting of research projects and prototypes. It is also their energy that has contributed to what SEM-REV is today and what this test facility has contributed and will continue to contribute to a rapidly developing sector. We can, of course, mention all the research engineers, project managers and research technicians, as well as all the support functions that have assisted them.

Finally, it is also thanks to local partners, local authorities and stakeholders, as well as academic and industrial partners, that SEM-REV has been able to develop over the years. SEM-REV is a synergetic combination of projects, convictions and daring.

A new national and European adventure with the OPEN-C Foundation

Since 1st September 2023, SEM-REV is operated by the OPEN-C Foundation through an exclusive agreement with Centrale Nantes. The OPEN-C Foundation, created in March 2023, coordinates, develops and pilots offshore testing in the fields of floating wind turbines and renewable marine energy, making it the national offshore test centre. Today, the implementation of the energy transition is leading to an active research of solutions. Marine Renewable Energies will certainly be part of the answer. The OPEN-C Foundation will enable several of the world’s major innovations to become more reliable over the next few years, by operating all the offshore test sites in France, including SEM-REV.

Centrale Nantes, a key player in the organisation of the Ocean Engineering R&D sector

Centrale Nantes has positioned itself as one of Europe’s leaders in terms of research and innovation in the field of ocean engineering and marine renewable energies, with its courses and Masters programmes and its world-class experimental platforms. Its joint laboratory with the CNRS, the LHEEA, has 50 years of research in ocean engineering and the development of unique experimental platforms, from the first concept to full-scale demonstration and transfer to industry. Its research focuses on the safety of marine structures, the decarbonisation of maritime transport and MRE. Wave, tidal and wind technologies are first studied using numerical modelling and software developed by the laboratory’s research teams, before being tested in the Ecole Centrale de Nantes’ tanks, including the largest ocean engineering tank in France (30m x 50m) equipped with wave and wind generators.