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Apr 09. DCNS and the Réunion regional council today signed an R&D partnership agreement to verify the feasibility of an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) demonstrator for Réunion Island, a French overseas département in the Indian Ocean and one of the 26 administrative regions of France. The Réunion regional council plans to achieve electrical energy self-sufficiency by 2025. To this end, it has proactively monitored the development of various types of technologies to exploit the ocean as an energy source and has pursued strategic analysis and consultation in this area since 2001, in particular through the Réunion regional energy agency (ARER*). Among these technologies, OTEC has emerged as an ideal and 100% renewable energy solution for the future, destined to replace coal production in the longer term. Réunion Island’s geographic location in the tropics makes it an ideal site for facilities to exploit the natural temperature difference between deep and shallow waters to generate electricity as well as derivative products such as fresh water (suitable for drinking or irrigation), cold seawater (for air conditioning) and improved aquaculture and algae culture conditions. The major benefit of OTEC is its permanent and continuous availability, allowing 24/7 energy production throughout the year. The DCNS Group has applied its know-how and experience in the design and maintenance of complex naval systems to support the development of OTEC. In 2008, the Group launched a self-funded study to assess the provisional feasibility of this technology. DCNS can draw on extensive resources in ocean energy field, including over 1,000 personnel in high-quality naval engineering, sea-proven technologies and broad-based scientific capabilities through its involvement in the Brittany and PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur) maritime clusters. The first results of this study will allow an accurate determination of the characteristics and cost breakdown of an OTEC demonstrator at Réunion Island. The results will be presented in mid-2009.