Electricite France

The Rance Tidal Power Station Saint Malo

The Rance Tidal Power Station Saint Malo

The Rance Tidal Power Station Saint Malo

In the bay of St Malo the tide is one of the highest int the World about 10m peak in to 13m at the equinoxes of March or September.

The French has tackled this clean free cosmic energy by the construction a tide operated power station at the mouth of the tide River La Rance – the first in the world!


Opened in 1966 as the world’s first tidal power station end over 45 years, the largest tidal power station in the world until the South Korean Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station surpassed in 2011.

  • Its 24 turbines reach peak output at 240 megawatts and average 62 megawatts, a capacity factor of approximately 26%. At an annual output of approximately 540 GWh, it supplies 0.012% of the power demand of France.
  • The barrage is 750 m (2,461 ft) long, from Brebis point in the west to Briantais point in the east. The power plant portion of the dam is 332.5 m (1,091 ft) long and the tidal basin measures 22.5 km2 (9 sq mi).

New Turbines

In 2012, the French utility company, EDF, deployed the first of four underwater turbines in the Bay of St Malo (watch this video). If initial tests are successful, the site at Paimpol-Bréha  will become the world’s first tidal ‘power station’, feeding up to six Megawatts of renewable energy into the French electricity grid. The oldest Tidal Power Station and again this €40 Million project, clearly demonstrates France’s commitment to renewable energy.


Tidal power is produced by building a dam across the opening of a tidal basin. The sluice gate opens to allow the tide to flow into the basin. When closed, the sea level drops and standard hydropower techniques generate electricity from the water elevated in the basin. The Rance power station, situated south of St Malo (France) is the unique tidal power station in the world providing electricity for commercial use.

It can generate 240 megawatts of power, with minimal environmental impact, and provide electricity for 223,000 inhabitants. The tide fills and empties the Rance estuary twice a day and the amplitude can reach the record height of 13.5 meters. This infoclip shows: – Rance power station and estuary – Pylons – St Malo at night.

Facts & figures



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