The pilot scheme, which EDF said is a world first, would be linked to the grid off the city of Paimpol, and have a total capacity of between 4 and 6 megawatts by 2011.
EDF - Europe's biggest nuclear power producer with 58 reactors in France that have a total nuclear generation capacity of more than 60,000 megawatts - declined to give financial details on the tidal power project.
Energy from tidal currents, which emits no greenhouse gases and has the advantage of being predictable, could become a key source of renewable energy, it said in a statement.
"In the long term this new source of energy could make a significant contribution to the production of electricity from renewable sources, in particular in the United Kingdom and France," EDF said in a statement.
EDF said that France alone had 80 percent of the potential for generating electricity from tidal currents in Europe, which it estimated at 10 million megawatt-hour per year.
Utilities and oil majors across Europe are seeking seek to develop cleaner energy sources as part of a drive by the European Union moves to cut carbon dioxide emissions by one fifth by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.