Offshore wind energy in France

The 10 billion-euro ($13.3 billion) wind power project will create France’s first offshore wind farms with as many as 600 wind turbines and 3 gigawatts of wind farm capacity in the project’s first phase off the Normandy and Brittany coasts.

France lags behind in Europe in wind power and these wind farm projects aim to help close the gap with other European countries as well as reduce its dependence on nuclear power.

The alliance between the power company Iberdrola and French nuclear group Areva has been done with the granting of a wind farm in France, of the two who was bidding, said the daily Le Figaro. Areva manufactures wind turbines for Iberdrola wind farm.

The EDF electricity associated with Alstom, won three of the five remaining wind power lots and the fifth has remained unsuccessful.

The economic site La Tribune, meanwhile, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, personally announced the decision to award the wind farms on Friday, an option that the source qualifies as extraordinary.

Areva is done with the wind farm at Saint-Brieuc (north Brittany), the source said, indicating that the EDF-Alstom are those of Saint-Nazaire (Atlantic coast), Courseulles-sur-mer (lower Normandy) and Fecamp (Seine-Maritime).

The Spanish power Iberdrola company had said it hoped to be awarded at least one of the two offshore wind farms for which was bidding.

The Spanish introduced in January with a proposal galas companies Areva, Technip, Eole-Res Neoen Marine Consortium and to install offshore wind farms in two of the four areas offered by the French government, Saint-Brieuc (north Brittany ) and Saint-Nazaire (Atlantic coast).

By José Santamarta,