French Floating Wind Project Seeks State Permits

The project company Ferme Eolienne Flottante de Groix & Belle-Île (FEFGBI) and Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) have jointly filed applications for the construction and operation of the pilot floating wind farm in the French part of the Atlantic ocean and its electrical connection.

The 3,000-page application will now undergo a 15-month period of public consultation and refining, FEFGBI said.

FEFGBI, a consortium of EOLFI, CGN EE, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Meridiam in partnership with GE, Naval Energies and Valemo, won ADEME’s EOLFLO call for projects for the development of the 24MW Groix & Belle-Île floating wind farm in Brittany in July last year.

The Groix & Belle-Île floating wind project will comprise four GE Haliade 6MW wind turbines installed on semi-submersible floats about 13km south of Groix and 19km from Belle-Île. The wind turbines will provide enough electricity for 30,000 homes, the developer said.

The connection, under RTE project management, consists of the installation of an underwater and underground link enabling the energy produced by the floating wind farm to be incorporated into the electrical system.

FEFGBI and RTE filed the applications to the Directorate of the Territories and the Sea in Morbihan, Brittany, and Regional Directorate for Environment, Planning and Housing of Brittany (DREAL Bretagne), and see the applications as culmination of important consultation and environmental and technical studies initiated in 2014.

The impact study, carried out on the basis of studies and field campaigns, constitutes the centerpiece of these requests for authorizations and assesses the current state of the environment in the project area, the impacts of the project on all components of the physical, biological and human environment, as well as the landscape, and proposes measures to minimize them, FEFGBI said.

The applications will now be the subject of an investigation during which the project will be submitted to the advice of the state services and experts in various fields.

The administrative authorizations, expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2019, will allow the start of the manufacturing phase of the components for the pilot farm and its connection, and their installation at sea for commissioning in the summer of 2021.

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