The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €350 million (~$412 million) credit line to a consortium building a wind farm off the coast of Courseulles-sur-Mer in France.
This financing, granted to the consortium made up of EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge, and wpd to co-finance the construction of the wind farm, a will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Totaling an estimated €2 billion (~$2,35 billion), the project involves the construction of 64 wind turbines located over 10 km off the French coast. With a capacity of 450 MW, it will produce the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 630 000 people, i.e. over 90% of the population of Calvados. It is expected to enter service in 2024.
Construction is expected to last three and a half years and will create over 1 000 direct jobs in Normandy, particularly in Le Havre where the wind turbines will be manufactured and assembled in a Siemens Gamesa factory currently being built. During the life of the wind farm, the project will enable the creation of around 100 long-term jobs at the port of Caen-Ouistreham for maintenance operations.
"The EU bank has recognized expertise in financing offshore wind farms. In 2020, the EIB co-financed France's largest offshore wind farm project off the coast of Fécamp (also in Normandy) in a consortium of the same organizations. This financing is also guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments," EIB said.
The European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said: “The Investment Plan for Europe is backing the construction of a new wind park in the west of France. The project will provide clean energy to some 630 000 people and create over 1 000 jobs in the process. This is another step towards achieving our goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and showcases the economic potential of going green.”
“This second financing of an offshore wind farm in Normandy, France confirms that our transformation into the EU climate bank is picking up speed,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle. “This operation consolidates our expertise in fixed and floating offshore wind turbines, like other innovative projects that we are financing elsewhere in Europe.”