Creation of the Fondation OPEN-C (Open-C Foundation), Europe's largest offshore testing centre for Marine Renewable Energies

Centrale Nantes is proud to be one of the founding members of the OPEN-C Foundation and of our role in creating the largest European offshore testing facility, as pioneered by our SEM-REV test site.

on March 29, 2023

Following its publication in the Journal Officiel on 21 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 covering multiple technologies: floating wind, tidal and wave energy, offshore hydrogen, floating photovoltaics, etc.

It brings together five offshore sites designed to test the most innovative prototypes on all of France's coastlines, and will also benefit from a wide range of testing conditions.

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

The Sem-Rev, an offshore test site set up by Centrale Nantes, joins the OPEN-C Foundation

SEM-REV - the first European site for multi-technology offshore testing that is connected to the grid - was set up by Centrale Nantes in 2015 and is managed by the Research Laboratory in Hydrodynamics, Energetics & Atmospheric Environment (LHEEA). It has all the equipment - offshore and on land - to develop, test and improve energy recovery systems (mainly from wind and wave sources). It has hosted FLOATGEN (floating wind turbine developed by BW Ideol) prototypes since 2018 and WAVEGEM (GEPS Techno's hybrid platform) from 2019 to 2021 and numerous research projects.

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 the testing of five separate prototypes of second-generation floating wind turbines, the production of green hydrogen offshore and the testing of floating photovoltaic systems.
For a project leader, the use of a test site like that provided by the OPEN-C Foundation enables the acceleration and de-risking of de-risking 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 Foundation's operational management. 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.

Learn more on the Open-C website
Published on March 29, 2023 Updated on March 29, 2023