Dunkirk wind farm moves forward

By: Tom Russell

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11/05/2021 RTE
Eoliennes en Mer de Dunkerque (EMD) and RTE have announced their decision to continue developing the Dunkirk offshore wind farm. This decision was taken at the end of a period of public debates conducted between September 14 and December 20, 2020 by the Special Commission for Public Debate (CPDP).

The 600 MW
Dunkirk offshore wind farm project was awarded to the EMD consortium, made up of EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge Éolien France S.à rl, a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., and innogy (currently RWE, as successor) back in June 2019 following a tender. By 2027, it is expected to produce electricity to meet the annual consumption of nearly one million people.

In February 2021, the CPDP appointed by the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) published its report on the debate and its recommendations for the attention of the contracting authorities of the Dunkirk offshore wind project. EMD, owner of the offshore wind farm, and RTE, owner of the electrical connection of the park, have taken note of these conclusions and have jointly decided to continue the development of the project.

The discussions during the nine public debate meetings, which included 1,100 local participants as well as the numerous contributions on the dedicated website, made it possible to measure the territory's expectations as well as certain points of attention relating to the project.

The development of the offshore wind project will continue in accordance with the following commitments:
  • Conduct a continuous process of information and participation with the local population and all French and Belgian stakeholders throughout the life of the project, including the authorization, construction and operation phases. This consultation will be carried out on 5 themes (biodiversity and environment, economy and employment, use of the sea, professional fishing and marine cultures, tourism), notably through working groups, public meetings and a digital exchange platform.
  • Strengthen measures in favor of biodiversity: An environmental impact study will be carried out with the expertise of naturalist associations (GoN, Le Clipon, FNE) and with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. An avifauna detection radar will also be installed soon in the port of Dunkirk. Impact studies and environmental measures will be shared with the public and associations.
  • Ensure integration into the landscape: The installation of the first wind turbines has been moved back from 9 km to 11.4 km from the coastal communities east of Dunkirk, i.e. a distance increased by more than 25% compared to the area of location proposed in the call for tenders.
  • Position the project at the heart of economic, industrial, maritime and tourist developments in Dunkirk.
    The Dunkirk project, during the construction phase, is expected to create 850 direct jobs and more than 3 times more indirect jobs in France and in Europe. During the operation phase, around fifty direct and long-term local jobs will be created for the future maintenance base, the installation of which is planned at the Grand Port Maritime de Dunkirk, Quai des Monitors.

    Located within a ​​50 km² area more than 10 km from the coast, the 600 MW  project is to feature a maximum of 46 turbines with monopile foundations. EMD secured the rights to the project with a record low strike price of €44/MWh.

    The electricity produced will be transported to the RTE network via a 20 to 25 km electrical link which will link an electrical substation at sea, grouping the electrical cables of the wind turbines installed by EMD, to an onshore electrical substation.

    EMD and RTE plan to submit their authorisation applications in the second half of 2021. A phase of continuous consultation, placed under the aegis of a guarantor appointed by the CNDP, will be put in place until a public inquiry, envisaged in 2022.

    For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.
  • About the Author

    4C Offshore | Tom Russell