GE Renewable Energy has produced the first turbine nacelle for the 480 MW Saint-Nazaire – France’s first offshore wind farm.

Source: GE Renewable Energy

This nacelle, which contains the generator, is the first in a series of 80 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 turbines will be located 12 to 20 kilometres off the coast and expected to be fully operational in 2022.

The project, developed jointly by EDF Renewables and Enbridge, is expected to bring 1,000 local jobs to the Pays de la Loire region during the construction phase.

Over 500 GE Renewable Energy employees will participate in the creation of this wind farm, in the Montoir-de-Bretagne nacelle assembly plant as well as at the Nantes GE office which currently employs over 200 persons.

200 new jobs will be added to this workforce when the Saint-Nazaire plant is fully operational.

”At GE Renewable Energy, we are excited to be engaging our skills and know-how in this historic project. By producing these 80 Haliade 150-6MW 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,” said President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy, Jérôme Pécresse.

Along with the ongoing turbine manufacturing work, earthworks are being finalized in preparation for the storage and assembly of the wind turbine components in the port of Saint-Nazaire. The wind turbines will be stored there starting in 2021.

Construction at the wind farm will begin in 2021 with the installation of the foundations and burying of the inter-array cables. The wind farm’s offshore substation will be installed during the summer of 2021. The installation of the export cable started in August.

In spring 2022, the first wind turbines could be installed offshore and progressively commissioned. This start-up process will last until year-end.

The wind farm will be then maintained and operated for the next 25 years from the O&M 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.

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies, speaking for the EDF Renewables-Enbridge consortium, said: “This wind farm project off the coast of Saint Nazaire, which we have been working on for several years, belongs above all to the Pays de La Loire Region which has contributed greatly to the creation of a new French industry. Over 1,000 region residents will participate in this project. This offshore wind farm constitutes a big step forward for renewable energy development in France.”

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