Sunday, June 16, 2024
 
 

EU con-finances offshore wind farm construction in the west of France

Project will provide clean energy to some 630,000 people and create over 1,000 jobs in the process

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) said on March 23 it has granted a €350 million credit line to a consortium made up of EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge and wpd to co-finance the construction of a wind farm off the coast of Courseulles-sur-Mer in France.

“The Investment Plan for Europe is backing the construction of a new wind park in the west of France,” EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said, adding that the project will provide clean energy to some 630,000 people and create over 1,000 jobs in the process. “This is another step towards achieving our goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and showcases the economic potential of going green,” he said.

According to the EBRD, this financing will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Totalling an estimated €2 billion, the project involves the construction of 64 wind turbines located over 10 kilometres off the French coast. With a capacity of 450 MW, it will produce the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 630 000 people, i.e. over 90% of the population of Calvados. It is expected to enter service in 2024.

Construction is expected to last three and a half years and will create over 1 000 direct jobs in Normandy, particularly in Le Havre where the wind turbines will be manufactured and assembled in a Siemens Gemesa factory currently being built. During the life of the wind farm, the project will enable the creation of around 100 long-term jobs at the port of Caen-Ouistreham for maintenance operations.

The EU bank has recognised expertise in financing offshore wind farms. In 2020, the EIB co-financed France’s largest offshore wind farm project off the coast of Fécamp (also in Normandy) in a consortium of the same organisations. This financing is also guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said this second financing of an offshore wind farm in Normandy, France confirms that the bank’s transformation into the EU climate bank is picking up speed. “This operation consolidates our expertise in fixed and floating offshore wind turbines, like other innovative projects that we are financing elsewhere in Europe,” he said.

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Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

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