French Council of State Dismisses Appeals Against Two Offshore Wind Farms

The French Council of State has dismissed appeals against the concession permits allowing the Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp offshore wind projects to occupy publicly owned maritime zones.

Parc éolien en mer de Fécamp/Illustration

The projects have a combined capacity of around 950MW and are being developed EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, and its partners Enbridge, a North American energy infrastructure company, and German independent renewable energy provider wpd.

Following the ruling, the consortium will continue to develop the Fécamp and Courseulles projects offshore Normandy.

According to the developers, the projects ”have been shaped by sophisticated environmental studies and wide-ranging consultation in the area spanning more than 10 years by the consortium. Local authorities, the region’s population, sea users (chiefly fishing professionals), environmental organisations, and local economic and social development agencies were all involved in the process.”

The consortium won the competitive bidding for the 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.

“This Conseil d’Etat ruling is a further endorsement of the quality of the projects developed by EDF Renewables’, Enbridge’s and wpd’s teams,” Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies and Chairman & CEO of EDF Renewables, said.

”The three groups worked together to address all the energy and economic priorities in the Normandy region. With four projects in development, the EDF Group consolidates its position as leader of France’s offshore wind energy industry and is a major force across Europe. These large-scale projects fit perfectly with EDF’s Cap 2030 strategy, under which it aims to double the Group’s renewable energy capacity worldwide by 2030 to bring them to 50,000 MW.”

The 450MW Courseulles-sur-Mer offshore wind farm will be located over 10 kilometres from the Bessin coast.

The assembly of the wind turbines at the logistics hub to be located in Cherbourg and offshore installation work will be handled by a workforce of 200 during the construction project. During the operational phase, wind farm operations & maintenance activities based at the port of Caen-Ouistreham will create approximately one hundred local jobs.

The Fécamp offshore wind farm will be located between 13km and 22km off Fécamp. The wind farm will have a capacity of clo0se to 500MW.

Completing the wind turbines’ gravitational foundations will provide employment for 600 people at the port of Le Havre throughout the construction period.

During the operational phase, wind farm operations & maintenance activities based at the port of Fécamp will create approximately one hundred local jobs.

The wind farms are scheduled to be operational in 2022.

The decision on the two projects follows on from the ruling handed down by the State Council on 7 June approving the permit to operate the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm project.

The Saint-Nazaire wind farm will feature GE Haliade wind turbines, while Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp will feature Siemens Gamesa turbines.