The first offshore wind turbine generator nacelle has been completed for what will be France's first offshore wind farm - the Saint-Nazaire project - wind turbine maker GE Renewable Energy said Tuesday.
The nacelle, which contains the generator, is the first in a series of Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines, produced for the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, to be assembled by GE Renewable Energy at the Montoir-de-Bretagne production site.
The Saint Nazaire offshore wind project reached a positive final investment decision in 2019, and is expected to enter service in 2022.
Located in the Loire-Atlantique region in coastal France, the project is a 480-megawatt (MW) wind farm that will feature 80 GE Haliade 160-6MW turbines to be manufactured in France.
The project is being developed by Eolien Maritime France (EMF), a company owned by EDF (59%), Enbridge (25.5%), Canada Pension Plan (24.5%).
Commenting on the completion of the first nacelle, President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy, Jérôme Pécresse said:"“I am proud to celebrate today, along with local authorities, our partners EDF Renewables and Enbridge, and our employees, a new stage in the construction of the first French offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire. At GE Renewable Energy, we are excited to be engaging our skills and know-how in this historic project. By producing these 80 Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines, we enhance our contribution to consolidating the French wind farm industry, competitive, exportable industry with long-term prospects, and that generates employment."
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies, speaking for the EDF Renewables-Enbridge consortium, added: “We are very happy to be present today to witness the tangible progress of the first offshore wind farm in France, with the production of its first nacelle.
"This wind farm project off the coast of Saint Nazaire, which we have been working on for several years, belongs above all to the Pays de La Loire Region which has contributed greatly to the creation of a new French industry. Over 1,000 region residents will participate in this project. This offshore wind farm constitutes a big step forward for renewable energy development in France," Bensasson said.
The offshore installation works will begin in 2021 with the anchoring of the foundations and burying the inter-turbine cables. Then, the substation will be installed in the sea during the summer.
In spring 2022, the first wind turbines could be installed offshore and progressively commissioned. This start-up process will last until the 2022 year-end.
After the completion of the installation, the 25-year operations and maintenance phase will then begin for GE. This will create about 100 jobs created for daily operations related to the maintenance base located at the port of La Turballe. The agreement between EDF Renewables, Enbridge and GE Renewable Energy also covers the multi-year contract for wind farm turbine maintenance services.