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Fortum to Install Wave-Energy Test Plant Off France

Fortum Oyj, Finland’s biggest utility, agreed to work with Paris-based engineer DCNS SA to install an ocean-power project off Brittany in France.

The two will build the 1.5-megawatt demonstration plant with WaveRoller technology from Finland’s AW-Energy Oy, they said today in a statement. Fortum will own the facility and run project development, while DCNS will manage construction.

“We can now bring together Fortum’s expertise in carbon dioxide-free power production, DCNS industrial expertise in marine energy, AW-Energy’s technology solution and the commitment of La Region Bretagne,” Matti Ruotsala, Fortum’s executive vice president for power, said in the statement.

Marine-energy developers are mostly still testing small devices to gather data for larger machines and multi-turbine projects yet to come to market. While no commercial-scale plants operate, industrial companies including Alstom SA and Siemens AG are starting to invest in the industry.

Today’s deal means DCNS now works across three different types of marine energy. The company agreed in June to collaborate with Ocean Thermal Energy Plc on generating power using differences in sea temperature. It also spent as much as 130 million euros ($176 million) buying a majority stake in Irish tidal-turbine maker OpenHydro.

Fortum is also working with Sweden’s Seabased AB to build a 10-megawatt wave-power park off the country’s west coast.

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