France’s first offshore wind farm will be built in Saint-Nazaire in the spring of 2022

March 23, 2021

The project deals with wind turbines with a unit capacity of 6 Megawatts (MW) for a total park capacity of 480 MW. The choice of a large wind turbine will limit the number to 80 turbines, which will be located more than 12km off the Loire-Atlantique coast, over a total surface area of 78 km².

The wind turbines will be located between 12 and 20 km offshore at depths varying between 12 and 25 m. The location will be on the Guérande Bank where the location has many advantages for the implementation of an offshore wind farm: a strong and constant wind, a depth that is shallow and a location that is away from the main commercial shipping routes. The production envisaged is equivalent to covering about 20% of the electricity demand of the Loire-Atlantique region and therefore an average annual electricity consumption of 700,000 inhabitants, that is 54% of the inhabitants of the Loire-Atlantique region.

EDF Energies Nouvelles, DONG Energy, Nass & Wind Offshore and the GE-Alstom group can take advantage of their extensive experience in offshore wind energy to successfully complete the wind farm project in Saint-Nazaire.

EDF Energies Nouvelles, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, brings its know-how in the development of renewable energy projects but also in the EDF Group’s expertise in very large-scale energy projects.

The Haliade wind turbine has been specially designed by Alstom (GE-Alstom Group) engineers for installation at sea and will be manufactured in France at Saint-Nazaire. This wind turbine is the most powerful wind turbine in the world currently in operation. The turbine has a 220-meter rotor and 107-meter long blades. The combination of a more powerful generator, longer blades and a higher capacity factor makes the Haliade-X less sensitive to changes in wind speed, increasing the ability to generate more energy at low wind speeds.

The first foundations of the park arrived at the end of February in the port of La Rochelle. They will then be transported and installed at sea thanks to DEME Group’s “Innovation” vessel. Indeed, they are laid between 12 and 25 meters deep on the seabed. These foundations will be connected to the transition pieces before being connected to the 80 wind turbines of the offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire.

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By Andréa Arbiol
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