Offshore wind energy: Inauguration of SEM-REV, the first marine test site in France

Offshore wind energy: Inauguration of SEM-REV, the first marine test site in France

The first French marine test site for marine renewable energy (MRE) has just been inaugurated. The site, located in Le Croisic (Loire-Atlantique) near the port of Saint-Nazaire, confirms the emergence of a new industrial sector in France and the excellence of Nantes Saint-Nazaire in this sector.

"SEM-REV stands for Site d'Expérimentation en Mer (SEM) pour la Récupération de l'Energie des Vagues (REV). Originally focusing on wave energy, it has since been extended to all types of marine renewable energy and offshore wind power. Operated jointly by Ecole Centrale Nantes and the CNRS, SEM-REV has all the facilities at sea and on land needed to perform multi-technology testing (wave power, offshore wind turbines, floating wind turbines and more).

MRE site unique in France

SEM-REV is the first such site in France. Many SMEs and large corporations are eager to begin testing their technology on SEM-REV (Floatgen by Idéol and the GEPS Techno project). In total, there are only six test sites of this kind worldwide, including three in Europe (Scotland and Germany).

Offshore wind drives job creation

According to the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, 1,200 direct jobs will be created thanks to the development of the marine renewable energy sector. Moreover, 2,000 jobs in subcontracting and 1,000 research positions will be added, not to mention the ten engineers working directly on SEM-REV. To meet the needs of its full order book, Alstom is recruiting heavily in Nantes Saint-Nazaire.

A cutting edge environment for offshore wind unique in Europe

This site reflects the emergence of a new industrial sector in marine energy. It is located 100 kilometres from the port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire, home to Alstom, STX, the Neopolia cluster and many SMEs specializing in offshore wind power. Some 17 million euros have been invested in the project, most of all from Pays de la Loire region. The site adds to the local region's excellent infrastructure and research facilities, unique in Europe when it comes to offshore wind power, featuring research laboratories (IRCCyN, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes University), the IRT Jules Verne and the Ocean Technocampus, IFSTTAR, the Industrial Virtual Reality Centre (CIRV) and the CSTB.