France’s Calvados Offshore Wind Farm Enters Construction Phase

Construction activity has started on the 448 MW Calvados offshore wind farm in France.

The start of the construction phase follows the finalisation of financing agreements between the Eoliennes Offshore du Calvados (EODC) consortium of EDF Renewables, Enbridge, and wpd, and its financial partners.

The Calvados offshore wind farm, also known as Courseulles-sur-Mer, will comprise 64 Siemens Gamesa SWT-7.0-154 Direct Drive wind turbines installed more than ten kilometres from the Bessin coastline covering a total surface area of approximately 45 km². Siemens Gamesa will also service the wind turbines for a period of 15 years.

“The Saint-Nazaire, Fécamp and Calvados offshore wind farm projects awarded to EDF Renewables in the French government’s first call for tenders in 2012 are coming to fruition, with construction now underway,” Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, said.

”In all, these three projects will provide employment for 7,000 people. Once the wind farms are in service, 300 sustainable jobs will be created, and they will generate sufficient electricity every year to cover the needs of 2 million people. In parallel, we continue to progress the development of the Dunkerque wind farm, the fourth projects awarded to us of the seven attributed by the French government.”

Upon its commissioning, scheduled in 2024, the wind farm will generate the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 630,000 people, or over 90 per cent of the Calvados French department’s population.

The total project cost is estimated at around EUR 2 billion. The majority will be financed through non-recourse project finance debt. The wind farm holds a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) granted by the French government in June 2018.

The three and a half-year construction project will create over 1,000 direct jobs in Normandy, the developers said.

The project’s wind turbines will be manufactured in Le Havre at Siemens Gamesa’s Quai Joannes Couvert plant, which is currently under construction. Once operational in the first half of 2022, a total of 750 direct and indirect jobs will have been created.

The plant will also manufacture the 71 wind turbines for the Fécamp offshore wind farm awarded to the same consortium. The wind turbines will be assembled at the Port of Le Havre, then shipped to the installation site. Offshore construction activity is due to commence in 2022.

RTE, which is responsible for connecting the wind farm from the offshore substation to Normandy’s electricity grid, will commence its onshore work in March 2021.

The consortium has now signed its main supply agreements with top-tier providers, including Siemens Gamesa, Saipem for the monopile foundations, Prysmian Group for the inter-array cables, and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, plus GE Grid Solutions and SDI for the offshore substation.

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During its service life, maintenance of the wind farm will create approximately 100 local jobs based at the port of Caen-Ouistreham, the consortium said.

Photo: Siemens Gamesa/Illustration