PRESS RELEASE – 26th March 2020

Irish company, DesignPro Renewables has achieved new performance milestones with their unique hydrokinetic turbine as part of ongoing testing at the SEENEOH test site in Bordeaux, France. The turbine generates clean, renewable energy from flowing water and has been deployed at a dedicated test site on the River Garonne since September 2018.

The design, build and initial deployment was supported through funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme which enabled the device to be tested for a full 12 months under project number 766499. In September 2019, the 25Kw unit was due to be removed and decommissioned as the H2020 support had ended but thanks to new funding and support through the BlueGift programme the device is being tested for a further 12 months.

This additional testing period has allowed DesignPro to implement upgrades and improvements to the unit including an innovative Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) system developed in conjunction with Mitsubishi Electric Ireland that delivered significantly improved performance results just 2 weeks ago on site and marked a celebratory milestone for the team.

Building on the work achieved under the H2020 programme, the BlueGift support is specifically aimed at testing the longer-term performance of the device, looking at elements such as wear and tear, replacement parts and operations and maintenance requirements as well as overall survivability of the unit.

Speaking with Vincent Mc Cormack, Innovation Manager at DesignPro, he praised the BlueGift programme for filling an essential ‘support gap’ for developers of this type of technology:

“When you have put so much work, time and resources into developing and building a full-scale turbine it makes sense that you get as much value and learnings from it as possible. This support under BlueGift has allowed us to keep the device in for an additional 12 months at SEENEOH, granting us the opportunity to test the device more rigorously thereby getting us one step closer to having a market-ready product and instilling more confidence for investment and partners”.

Vincent Laroque, President of SEENEOH says:

“We are delighted with the renewed confidence of DesignPro Renewables to extend its trials. Europe, via the INTERREG Atlantic Area programme, is offering a tool that is particularly suited to this sector by providing financial support to test sites so that they can open their doors under advantageous conditions for technology developers”.

The Blue-GIFT project represents a unique opportunity to gain access to world leading marine renewable energy test facilities and expertise.

The Blue-GIFT project opened its 2nd call for applications for ocean energy demonstration on the 20th of January 2020. The call will close on the 30th of April 2020 at 17:00 UTC. Applications can benefit from an early assessment if the test plan requires a starting date on Q1 & Q2 2020.

This project is funded by Interreg Atlantic Area, the main objective of Blue-GIFT (Blue Growth and Innovation Fast Tracked) is to provide access to real sea environment test facilities for the next generation of marine renewable energy and to accelerate progress towards a net zero carbon future. Full details can be found on the BlueGift website: