The manufacturer has installed around 500 wind turbines across the country since 2002. This corresponds to 20% of France’s existing wind energy capacity. Alongside its activities in the sale, installation and maintenance of onshore wind turbines, REpower also intends to be active in the area of offshore wind energy in future. France has announced the start of the round of tenders for autumn 2010.
With a market share of more than 20% last year, REpower S.A.S., a fully owned subsidiary of REpower Systems AG, was the second largest manufacturer of wind turbines on the French market. The company was established in 2002 as Les Vents de France, a joint venture between the German REpower Systems AG and the Belgian Turbowinds S.A.
The first wind energy system, a 1.5 megawatt type MD77 wind turbine, was erected the same year in the Champagne-Ardennes region. Since 2003, the company, renamed REpower S.A.S., belongs entirely to the REpower Group and now employs around 150 people.
Per Hornung Pedersen, CEO of REpower Systems AG, underlines the importance of the group’s French subsidiary: "REpower S.A.S. is among the oldest and largest REpower subsidiaries and generates one of the highest levels of sales – and France is one of our core markets. We can imagine that in future, in addition to the outstanding sites on land, we will look to exploit the potential of France’s coastline."
He continues: "In France’s energy roadmap and in the context of the Grenelle de l’Environnement, it was announced that the expansion of offshore wind energy exploitation would be accelerated to reach the target of 6,000 MW installed in 2020. To attain this goal, reliable and experienced partners are essential. REpower is one of the leaders in offshore wind power technology, and we are the only manufacturer to have already installed 14 multi-megawatt systems in deep water and farshore wind farm, i.e. at a great distance from the coast.”
Olivier Perot, Managing Director of REpower S.A.S., adds: "We are especially proud to have built up a strong and confident relation with our customers and partners throughout these years – and we are proud of our employees, who stand behind these impressive figures. One gigawatt roughly corresponds to the output from one to two conventional electric power plants. At the same time, we are optimistic that we can continue the success story of REpower in France in the future."
He stresses: "Offshore wind energy will have a key role in fulfilling the obligations of the European climate package, in securing jobs and not least in securing a leading role for France in a fast-growing ‘green’ industry. REpower aims to be the industrial catalyst of this program."