The Ensemble Eolien Catalan wind farm is equipped with with “stealth” wind turbines, the world’s first solution favouring the coexistence of wind farms and weather radars.
President and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Group, Jean-Bernard Lévy, has inaugurated France’s most powerful wind farm, with Antoine Cahuzac, EDF’s Group Senior Executive Vice President in Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Energies Nouvelles also in attendance. The wind farm is located in the municipalities of Baixas, Calce, Pézilla-la-Rivière and Villeneuve-la-Rivière, Pyrénées-Orientales department. It was developed, built, commissioned and operated by EDF Energies Nouvelles, an EDF Group subsidiary dedicated to renewable energy, and consists of 35 turbines, each with a unit capacity of 2-3 MW.
The wind farm is the most powerful in the country, ahead of that at ahead of Salles-Curan (87 MW), commissioned by EDF Energies Nouvelles in 2008. Its output is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 120,000 people, or 25 percent of the department’s population. The high-tech facility is equipped with “stealth” wind turbines, using equipment borrowed from military stealth technology and developed by a partnership between EDF Energies Nouvelles, Danish turbines manufacturer Vestas and QinetiQ, the international defence, security and technology company. The innovative technology sharply decreases the reflectivity of their components, thereby reducing their footprint on the radars operated by Météo France, such as the one located close to the wind farm.
“European leader in low-carbon electricity, EDF Group is present on all renewable sectors” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, President and Chief Executive Officer of EDF, during the inauguration. “As part of our CAP 2030 strategy, we will further accelerate our development in these energies in France. This illustrates our aim to build a diversified generation mix serving the energy transition. Technological innovation has always been at the heart of our commitment and will be a major driver of this development.”
The wind farm will be operated and maintained by EDF EN Services, EDF Energies Nouvelles’ dedicated subsidiary. With the commissioning of this new facility, EDF Group now operates 51 percent of the wind power capacity in the region and a total of over 1.1 GW across France.
EDF Group is an integrated electricity company and a key player in energy transition. It is active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services, and has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.6 million customers, of which 27.8 million reside in France. The Group generated consolidated sales of 75 billion euros in 2015, of which 47.2 percent were sold outside of France.