Atlantic France is home to the very first French offshore wind farm, and the first turbines are currently being set up by EDF Renewables and Enbridge Inc. and CPP Investments. 80 wind turbines will be installed by the end of the year.
The giants have taken to the sea! On the 6th of April, four wind turbines measuring 180 metres long and weighing 1,000 tons left the port of Saint-Nazaire to be transported 12 kilometres off Le Croisic. The mast, the nacelles and two of the three blades were assembled at sea thanks to a special vessel called Vole au Vent, which has four legs to lift itself out of the water.
On the 12th of April, the first turbine Haliade 150 (built by GE Renewable Energy in Saint-Nazaire) was installed at sea. With a 100 metre high mast and 75 metre long blades, it will produce 6 megawatts of electricity, which is equivalent to the consumption of 6,000 inhabitants.
Another key element of the farm was built in Saint-Nazaire: Atlantique Offshore Energy was selected by EDF Renewables as the key supplier for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the offshore substation, which occurred in August 2021.
Installation of the wind farm completed by the end of 2022
Approximately 750 people are currently mobilised for the installation, on land and at sea. EDF Renewables, GE ReE, Atlantique Offshore Energy and their partners are expecting to complete this major project in marine renewables by the end of the year.
The Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm will host 80 giant turbines, representing a total capacity of 480 MW. This represents 20% of the total annual electricity consumption of the Loire-Atlantique department or the consumption of 700,000 people.
Atlantic France also involved in developing floating wind energy
The wind turbine installed in April is not exactly the first French offshore wind turbine, because the Sem-Rev offshore test site of Centrale Nantes (also off the coast of Saint-Nazaire) has been hosting Floatgen since 2018. This Ideol 2 MW experimental floating wind turbine has recorded monthly production records approaching 1000 MWh (the electricity consumption of around 2,200 households) and a partnership has been concluded with Lhyfe in order to experiment with the offshore production of sustainable hydrogen.