The nacelle, which contains the generator, is the first in a series of Haliade 150-6 MW 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 wind farm, already under construction for one year, will be composed of 80 wind turbines spaced one kilometre apart and located 12 to 20 kilometres off the coast. When it goes operational in 2022, it will produce enough power to supply 20 percent of the electricity consumption of the Loire-Atlantique department.
A new stage in the structuring of the French offshore wind farm industry, providing positive economic impact in the Pays de la Loire region and a showcase for French know-how. The Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm contributes to boosting the region’s economic activity, generating a total of over 1,000 local jobs during the construction phase.
The project takes GE Renewable Energy, EDF Renewables and Enbridge into a new phase of French wind farm industry development. Following three projects attributed to the consortium led by EDF Renewables in 2012, GE Renewable Energy was the first company to invest in wind turbine assembling plants in France. Over 500 GE Renewable Energy employees will participate in the creation of this first French offshore wind farm, in the Montoir-de-Bretagne nacelle assembly plant as well as at the Nantes GE office (engineering, sourcing, quality, services) which currently employs over 200 persons. 200 new jobs will be added to this workforce when the Saint-Nazaire plant is fully loaded.
While GE Renewable Energy production continues, earthworks are being finalised in preparation for the storage and assembly of the wind turbine components in the port of Saint-Nazaire. The wind turbines will be stocked there starting in 2021.
Installation at sea will begin in 2021 with anchoring of the foundations and burying the inter-turbine cables. Then, the electric 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 year-end.
The next 25-year operations and maintenance phase will then begin. About 100 sustainable jobs will be 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.
“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” said President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy, Jérôme Pécresse. “At GE Renewable Energy, we are excited to be engaging our skills and know-how in this historic project. By producing these 80 Haliade 150-6 MW wind turbines, we enhance our contribution to consolidating the French wind farm industry, a 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 that the wind farm project off the coast of Saint Nazaire belongs above all to the Pays de La Loire Region which has contributed greatly to the creation of a new French industry and that over 1,000 region residents will participate in the project.
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