Positive outlook likely for Saint Brieuc wind farm

In: Windfarms
The French Council of State met last week to discuss the final appeal lodged by the Association for the Protection of Sites of Erquy and Surrounding Sites (ASPE) against Iberdrola's Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm.

The appeal concerns the technical modification of the wind farm and the change of 8 MW Adwen wind turbines to an 8 MW Siemens Gamesa model. The applicants claim that this qualifies as a substantial change and requires new authorisation and cancellation of the original authorisations of 20th December 2017. The appeal was initially lodged with the Nantes administrative court of appeal, but this was rejected on 26th March 2019.

On 12th November 2020, the public rapporteur, Mr. Olivier Fuchs proposed that the appeal should be rejected by the Council of State on the grounds that the modifications made to the project have a lower environmental impact, e.g. shorter drilling time, shorter blade lengths, and consequently a new authorization is not necessary for the project. A final official decision by the Council of State is expected in a few weeks.

Iberdrola is the sole owner of the wind farm, which represents an investment of 2.4 billion euros. Financial close was reached earlier this year and construction of the components is now underway despite the pending appeal.

The 496 MW wind farm, 16 km off the French coast, will feature 62 8 MW Siemens Gamesa turbines, standing at 207 metres high. The Saint-Brieuc wind turbines will be built in France, at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy's bespoke industrial facility, located in the port of Le Havre.

Manufacturing of the jacket foundations by Navantia-Windar commenced this autumn. Each three-legged jacket consists of a steel lattice that weighs up to 1,150 tons and up to 75 meters high, attached to the sea floor with pin piles. In total, more than 35,000 tons of steel will be assembled in Navantia-Windar’s workshops and in its Breton subcontractors’ factories.

Van Oord has been selected to transport and install the 62 jacket foundations and offshore substation. Van Oord will start the offshore operations in 2021 with the installation of the pin piles and the offshore substation. To do so, it will deploy its offshore installation vessel Aeolus. The Aeolus will be assisted by a second vessel in 2022.

Prysmian will install and commission 90 km of 66 kV array cabling and the substation has been awarded to the joint venture made up of Eiffage Métal and Engie Solutions.

Saint Brieuc project will be the first large-scale offshore wind farm in Brittany and, when operational in 2023, it will be capable of generating enough clean energy for 835,000 people.

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