Industry-first technology has been deployed to install the foundations in solid rock and to enhance operational working time.
Installation of the foundations started in spring 2021. DEME and its partner Herrenknecht, the global leader in tunnel boring machines, jointly designed a 350-tonne Offshore Foundation Drill (OFD) to perform the drilling work for the XL monopiles. Other unique equipment deployed at Saint-Nazaire is the MODIGA. At nearly 60 m high, the MODIGA encapsulates the drilling and installation operations, protecting them from the adverse Atlantic marine conditions, which in turn enhances operational working time. The complete technological solution has been deployed from the offshore installation vessel ‘Innovation’.
DEME Offshore and Eiffage Métal have involved more than 200 companies from Pays de Loire and France in the project, mainly small and medium enterprises, creating job opportunities and contributing to the development of the blue economy in France.
“Deploying this world’s first equipment enabled us to complete the installation well ahead of schedule” said Bart De Poorter, General Manager DEME Offshore. “Installation operations continued through the winter season, despite the combination of severe weather conditions and the harsh Atlantic ocean environment. At Saint-Nazaire, our teams and crew have not only gained substantial experience for the next offshore wind farm projects at the French coast, but also to successfully carry out installation works in similar challenging conditions across the globe.”
Arnaud de Villepin, Managing Director of the Industry & Energy Division at Eiffage Métal, added that the group has a large number of wind farm project references off the coasts of Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and now has its first track record of its expertise in France.
The Saint-Nazaire wind farm will have a total capacity of 480 MW or the equivalent of 20 percent of the French department Loire-Atlantique’s electricity needs. The wind farm is being developed by EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge and CPP Investments.