French Offshore Wind Farm Clears Final Legal Hurdle

The Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme administrative court, has dismissed the appeal against the operating permit for the 480MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind project.

GE Renewable Energy/Illustration

All the administrative permits required for the construction and operational phases of the project are now secured, the project developers said.

EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, and Enbridge, a North American energy infrastructure company, are developing the project through the company Eolien Maritime France (EMF).

The Conseil d’Etat ruling will enable EDF Renewables and Enbridge to make progress with the project financing process before the investment is given its final go-ahead.

EMF won the competitive bidding for three offshore wind farm projects at Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp, and Saint-Nazaire in 2012 when the French government launched its first call for tenders in the sector.

“The Conseil d’Etat’s decision is a ringing endorsement of the robust groundwork undertake by EDF Renewables’ and Enbridge’s teams which have been working for 10 years with professionalism, openness and dedication on bringing the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind project through to fruition,” Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies and Chairman & CEO of EDF Renewables, said.

”I also wish to salute the backing for the project we received from the local parties. It allowed us to be ready to open the way for marine renewable energies to take shape in France. It will deliver a boost to the local economy. This landmark project fits perfectly with the EDF Group’s Cap 2030 strategy of doubling its worldwide renewable energy capacity in operation by 2030. We hope that it will be the first step towards an accelerated growth trajectory for offshore wind energy in France in the framework of the PPE [multiannual energy program].”

Saint-Nazaire is the first of EMF’s offshore wind farms to clear all legal obstacles. According to a recent agreement between GE Renewable Energy and EMF, this means that Saint-Nazaire will feature Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines.

Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp will feature Siemens Gamesa turbines.