EuropeOffshoreOffshore wind

A decade after approval, France installs first offshore wind farm

Construction of France’s first offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire: production of components finalised and offshore operations continued


One of the first French offshore wind farms

The Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm is jointly owned by EDF Renewables with a capacity of 480 MW, it  comprises 80 wind turbines located on the rocky plateau of the Banc de Guérande, more than 12 km off the coast of the Guérande peninsula.

To be more precise, the 480-megawatt (MW) wind farm will feature 80 GE Haliade 160-6MW turbines to be manufactured in France. According to GE, each Haliade turbine powers 5,000 homes; the project is expected to generate the equivalent of 20% of the Loire-Atlantique’s electricity consumption, a total of 700 000 inhabitants.

Turbines will be located between 12 and 20 kilometres off the Loire-Atlantique coast, at depths ranging from 12 to 25 metres, and deployed an area of about 78 square km.

Enbridge has a 25.5% ownership stake in the Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Project, which is expected to enter service in 2022.

Partners with considerable experience in offshore wind power and industrial projects:

– EDF Energies Nouvelles, a subsidiary of the EDF Group is contributing its know-how in the development of renewable energy projects and the expertise of the EDF group in large-scale energy projects.

-DONG Energy is a Danish company with 30 years of experience in the field of wind energy and 20 years of experience in wind energy at sea. DONG Energy now operates in 18 offshore wind projects, with a total capacity of over 4000 megawatts.

-Nass & Wind Offshore began developing the project in 2008 and contribute their knowledge of the area.

– The GE-Alstom group, is a world leader in the field of industrial equipment for energy production. The Haliade wind turbine was specially designed by Alstom engineers to be placed at sea and will be manufactured in France in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg.

The works, lasting more than three years, currently involve more than 1,200 direct employees in the Pays de la Loire region. The construction project is also contributing to create a national industry, providing jobs and new skills. The local French businesses involved in constructing the wind farm are gaining experience in this fast-growing sector, allowing them to take part in other projects in France and abroad.

How far is the project?

Two years after construction works began, significant progress has been made in producing the various components required for the future wind farm. As of spring 2022, the wind turbines will be installed offshore and then gradually put into service.

For the entire lifespan of the wind farm – approximately 25 years – a team of a 100 people will work from the maintenance base in La Turballe to carry out operations and preventive and corrective maintenance tasks on the turbines, as well as supervision and optimisation of the wind farm’s power generation, keeping an eye on weather conditions and planning offshore interventions, and, of course, ensuring the site’s overall security.



Narjiss Ghajour

Editor-in-Chief of Maritime Professionals

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