The European Commission (EC) said it has found that the French state support to the Engie’s proposed Normandie Energie Pilote Hydrolien (NEPTHYD) tidal project at Raz Blanchard complies with the state aid rules.

Located at Raz Blanchard, west of the Cotentin peninsula, in the English Channel, the project comprises four tidal turbines, with each having a 1.4MW capacity.

The French government selected the NEPTHYD tidal project in 2014 as part of a state-funded technology trail.

The turbines will feature rotating nacelles, variable pitch blades and submerged power electronics which are expected to enhance tidal farm performance.

Engie group’s subsidiary will build and operate the plant, which will serve as a demonstration plant to validate the new technology for 20-year period.

France plans to provide a direct grant and repayable advances, reimbursable upon validating the technology.

Power generated from the project will be sold under a feed-in tariff (FiT).

According to Commission review, the project supports market entry of a novel renewable energy technology.

The aid, however, will be limited to the power production cost from such project in order to ensure that the operator is not overcompensated.

Planned to begin operation in 2017, the sea-based project is expected to supply enough energy to 15,000 people.