The OPEN-C Foundation test sites

After fundamental research and technological research linked to the development of prototypes, offshore testing plays a major role in experimental development. It allows for the validation of prototypes in real conditions as well as pre-industrial tests.
The OPEN-C Foundation coordinates the five test sites developed and operated independently in France over the past few years by complementary operational teams. These five sites will be completed by the creation of the first "High Power" site.

In Europe, only a few sites offer offshore testing possibilities: BIMEP in Spain, PLOCAN in the Canary Islands, Wavec in Portugal, the Metcentre site (Marine Energy Test Centre) in Norway, OTS in the Netherlands and EMEC in the north of Scotland.

Today's test sites

OPEN-C sites


Photo © www.test-sites BOP

Located off the island of Bréhat in the Côtes d'Armor, the Paimpol-Bréhat site is an offshore test site for the development of the tidal turbine industry. EDF provides turbine manufacturers with its expertise in MRE and its connection infrastructure. The test site is exceptional due to its demanding characteristics (turbulence, tides), the expertise and the operational connection infrastructure made available. It is managed by EDF, SEENEOH and Bretagne Développement Innovation, with the support of the Brittany Region.

Two projects have been hosted since 2008: the OpenHydro trials, for which three generations of tidal turbines were tested until July 2017, then between 2019 and 2021 it was the turn of the HQ-OCEAN tidal turbine designed by the French start-up HydroQuest.
> Paimpol-Bréhat website

Sainte Anne du Portzic

THeoREM website- ©Olivier Dugornay

Located in Brest harbour, this in situ test station is used to test different types of innovative equipment, particularly for marine renewable energy, by getting closer to real conditions of use at sea.

The prototypes tested are on a 1/10th scale and include floating wind turbines, such as EOLINK's tested in 2018, hybrid platforms, GEPS Techno's PH4S platform in 2015, or instrumentation buoys such as SONOFLASH (THALES company) in 2020. The site also allows environmental, physico-chemical and biological monitoring campaigns to be carried out.
> Sainte Anne du Portzic website


©Centrale Nantes/BW Ideol/GEPS Techno

Ten years ago, the first SEM-REV offshore operations began, off the coast of Le Croisic in the Loire Atlantique region, with the installation of the export cable. The site has hosted FLOATGEN (floating wind turbine developed by BW Ideol) prototypes since 2018 and WAVEGEM (GEPS Techno's hybrid platform) from 2019 to 2021, as well as several research projects.

In 2022, new investments were made to develop the site (to increase the site's grid injection capacity, install an offshore floating sub-station, create an MRE exhibition centre and MRE business incubator) thus giving new users access to the infrastructure.
> SEM-REV website


The site is located in the Garonne River, downstream from the Pont de Pierre in Bordeaux. Located 100 kilometres from the mouth of the Gironde estuary, it is exposed to strong currents influenced by the diurnal tidal cycle of the Bay of Biscay. The site is used to test river or marine tidal turbines on an intermediate scale.
> SEENEOH website


The concession for the Mistral test site in the Mediterranean (off the coast of Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône) has been managed by Valeco since 2019. The site, located 5km from the coast, is under construction. Authorisation has been granted to install two floating wind turbines.

> MISTRAL website

A future "High Power" test site

A "High Power" site must be developed to meet the needs of the next decade to connect technologies ranging from 10 MW to 20 MW. This test site will enable risk reduction for grid-connection of future commercial floating wind farms.

Development of this site will lend tremendous impetus to the national industry and will help to position France as a leader in this field.

2 to 3 wind turbines of up to 20 MW can be tested simultaneously on this site. The wind turbines would reach a maximum height at the tip of their blades of around 350m and would have to be installed in water depths of at least 100m.

Given the strong demand from industry, this site could be commissioned between 2025 and 2027. The first step in the development of this High Power site will be for OPEN-C Foundation to carry out the studies and measurement campaigns for the site location and specifications (securing the grid, regulatory framework & authorisations, site conditions and preliminary studies, financing, etc).

"High Power" test site in figures

Published on November 2, 2022 Updated on October 30, 2023