Saint Nazaire offshore wind farm fully operational
EDF Renewables and EIH, a subsidiary of Enbridge and CPP Investments, have achieved a significant milestone as France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project, the 480MW Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm, is now fully operational.
Located between 12 and 20km from the southwest coast of France, the wind farm will help support the French State’s energy transition goals, which include targets to generate 32% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. By providing secure, low carbon, affordable and reliable energy, Saint-Nazaire is also responding to the global energy challenge at a crucial time. The wind farm will produce the equivalent of 20% of the Loire-Atlantique’s annual electricity consumption and supply the equivalent of the consumption of 700,000 people with electricity every year.
After nearly three years of construction, the Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm first produced electricity at the beginning of June 2022 and proceeded to incrementally connect its 80 wind turbines to the national electricity transmission network. About one hundred people will continue to be employed at the site to help ensure the operation and maintenance of the wind farm in La Turballe, France.
Throughout the development and construction phases, the project team worked closely with local stakeholders. Environmental protection associations, such as France Nature Environnement, Bretagne Vivante, the League for the Protection of Birds and associated experts from the National Museum of Natural History, National Institute of Research for the Exploitation of the Sea and independent design specialists provided the knowledge needed to design the wind farm while respecting its environment and biodiversity. Fauna and flora were rigorously monitored during the various phases of the work and environmental monitoring will continue.
EDF Renewables and EIH officially launched construction of the wind farm in September 2019 alongside industrial partners and local stakeholders. The project’s construction phase contributed significantly to the emergence of a new offshore wind industrial sector in France. The contracts awarded provided French companies the opportunity to increase their expertise to gain competitiveness and seek other global opportunities. In total, during the construction phase, an average of 2,300 people were employed in France, including 1,200 in the Pays de la Loire region. The 80 nacelles and the electrical substation were manufactured in Saint-Nazaire, in the factories of General Electric Renewable Energy and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, respectively.
“Enbridge is excited about the arrival of the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in France, the Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm, and about our role as a leader of the global energy transition. We’re advancing several renewable energy projects in Europe and North America, and we are proud to have met this achievement ahead of schedule. We extend our appreciation and thanks to our partners, EDF Renewables and CPP Investments, and look forward to continuing our work together to grow France’s offshore wind sector”, Matthew Akman, Senior Vice President, Power, Strategy and New Energy Technology of Enbridge, says.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, adds, “We are very proud to commission France’s first industrial offshore wind farm. I would like to warmly thank all the EDF Renewables’ teams as well as those of our partners, Enbridge and CPP Investments, for the work accomplished. This renewable electricity production facility would not have been possible without a close cooperation with the French government and its stakeholders, municipality, environmental associations, fishermen, economic players and local residents. Over the past ten years, this project has contributed to the construction of the offshore wind power industry in France and has mobilised a significant number of jobs during construction and now in the operating phase. This first wind farm is part of the EDF Group’s strategy to double its net capacity of global renewable energy to reach 60GW in 2030. We are also participating in the National Low-Carbon Strategy of the government, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through energy conservation, nuclear power and the acceleration of renewables.”
“We are proud to be part of a partnership with EDF Renewables and Enbridge that has successfully delivered the first major offshore wind project in France despite challenging economic circumstances. Saint-Nazaire is the first of many wind investments for us in France that will develop its energy sources and continue its energy transition. It will be a flagship project and an excellent example of our long-term commitment to developing major renewable projects through our global network of renewable energy businesses and partnerships”, Bruce Hogg, Managing Director, Head of Sustainable Energies of CPP Investments, states.