Both the firms plan to produce an initial 6MW floating wind turbine by 2017 prior to installing pilot farms and then commercial facilities.

The machine will feature a semi-submersible floating system, developed by DCNS, and Alstom’s Haliade 150 offshore wind turbine.

The project, dubbed Sea Reed, has received €6m in funding from French agency ADEME to support the initial study and certification phase.

The companies will first work together to optimize the interface between the two systems.

Alstom will undertake studies to adapt and integrate the Haliade with the floating system.

DCNS will carry out studies on the behavior, sizing, industrialization and installation of the floating system combined with the turbine.

Alstom Renewable Power chairman Jérôme Pécresse said: "By combining the technology of our Haliade offshore wind turbine with DCNS’ unique expertise in the maritime field, we are merging our respective know-hows as early as possible in the process so we can work together at developing an innovative, competitive energy solution."

DCNS Marine Energy and Infrastructures Division Director Thierry Kalanquin said: "This partnership will encourage the emergence of a floating wind energy sector that will create jobs in France throughout those coastal areas where the farms will be installed.

"Our agreement is the world’s first-ever partnership between a naval architect and an energy-sector player who has already demonstrated the performance of a high-power wind turbine."

Image: Executives of Alstom and DCNS sign the agreement. Photo: Courtesy of Alstom.