The wind farm, located off the southwest coast of France, will produce the equivalent of 20% of the Loire-Atlantique department’s annual electricity consumption (that is, enough electricity for 700,000 people a year).
The Eolien Maritime France wind farm was developed and owned by a consortium of EDF Renewables, Enbridge and the Canada Pension Fund Investment Board.
The offshore wind farm produced electricity for the first time in early June 2022, and in September all 80 GE Haliade 150-6 MW offshore wind turbines were installed.
2,300 specialists were involved in the construction of the wind farm, currently it is serviced by about 100 people.
“This first wind farm is part of the EDF group’s strategy to double net global renewable energy capacity to 60 GW by 2030. We are also participating in the Government’s National Strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through energy conservation, nuclear power and accelerating the use of renewables.”
Bruno Bensasson, Chairman and CEO of EDF Renewables.
France plans to produce 32% of energy from renewable sources by 2030. Back in February, President Emmanuel Macron announced the government’s plan to commission about 40 GW of offshore wind farms or about 50 offshore wind power plants on the country’s coasts by 2050. A new bill is currently under consideration that would increase the amount of land on which wind turbines can be installed, as well as provide some compensation to people who live near wind turbines.
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France is heavily dependent on nuclear power, which accounts for about 75% of total generation, while renewables (mainly hydropower) and fuels account for about 18%. There is also a threat of termination of gas supplies from Russia.
Previously, the country was slow to implement offshore wind energy, but now it is taking a big step to get rid of its dependence on fuel. Wind power is expected to overtake hydropower in France by 2030.
At the same time, offshore wind farms are currently being debated in France, drawing criticism from environmental activists, the fishing industry and local residents.
This summer, the French government did approve two more zones for offshore wind farms after a massive public debate involving 15,000 people. The first wind farm with a capacity of about 1000 MW is aimed at the island of Oleron, more than 35 km off the coast of La Rochelle. The second will be located further out to sea and will probably be floating. Together, the two wind farms will be able to generate electricity for 1.6 million people a year.
The prototype of the Siemens wind generator broke the world record, producing 359 MWh per day – this energy is enough to drive a Tesla Model 3 1.8 million km