Iberdrola – Eole-RES Consortium awarded 500 MW Saint-Brieuc Offshore Wind Energy Project, France

The French Government announced its decision to award the Iberdrola – Eole-RES consortium exclusive rights to develop a 500 MW offshore wind power project in the area of Saint-Brieuc, off the coast of Brittany. The wind farm is expected to generate some 2,000 jobs and play a key role in developing an offshore wind turbines industry in France.

The offshore wind farm will be built some 20 km off the coast of Saint-Brieuc Bay in the French administrative area of Cotes d’Armor by the consortium led by Iberdrola and Eole-RES and including technology partners Areva, Technip and Neoen Marine. A Joint Venture company, Ailes Marines, or Sea Wings, has been set up to manage the project and subsequent operation of the site.

Over the next 18 months, the consortium will analyse both the technical and environmental risk conditions of the site in order to conduct the project feasibility study.

In July 2011, France launched the first round of a tender process aimed at installing 3,000 MW of offshore wind farm capacity which involved the construction of around 600 wind turbines by 2018. The Saint-Brieuc offshore project covers a total area of 80 km2 and comprises 100 wind turbines of 5 MW capacity each.

Keith Anderson, Offshore Division Director of Iberdrola said: ‘We have overcome tough competition and this decision is a vote of confidence for the Iberdrola – Eole-RES led consortium as well as a milestone in the creation of a permanent offshore industry for France. The development, construction and operation of this wind power project will lead to the creation of 2,000 jobs, many of them based in Northwestern France, and give a significant boost to the economy in Brittany.’

Jean-Marc Armitano CEO of Eole-Res said, ‘This success recognises the expertise of the Iberdrola and Eole-RES consortium in the development and operation of wind energy projects. Our offer has met the government’s requirements in terms of its industrial plan, energy price and environmental solutions.’

One of the first tasks of the project company Ailes Marines will be to continue the working relationship with other legitimate users of coastal waters, the local communities and other key stakeholders. The Iberdrola – Eole-RES consortium will also deploy local skills such as civil engineering, manufacturing and shipbuilding to create the required economic fabric and supply chain from the wind turbine construction stage to offshore operation.

The consortium partners will play a key role in the creation of a truly French offshore wind industry. Of the more than 2,000 jobs created in the development, construction and operational phases, mainly in Northwestern France, a significant part will be in Brittany. Wind farm operation and maintenance alone will generate 140 permanent jobs in Saint-Brieuc Bay for a minimum of 20 years.

Co-investors Iberdrola and Eole-RES, with the support of Neoen Marine, will jointly develop the offshore wind farm which will be operated by Ailes Marines. Areva Group will manufacture turbines at a factory in Le Havre and will also be responsible for their maintenance. Technip plans to create 300 new engineering jobs in Brittany for the installation of subsea cables, foundations and turbines. The consortium has also signed agreements with French companies STX and Eiffage to manufacture jacket type foundations.

French offshore wind power tender process

In early 2011, France started a tender process with the objective of installing 6,000 MW offshore wind capacity by 2020. The first round of the tender, for 5 offshore wind farm projects with a joint capacity of 3,000 MW, was launched in July 2011 and it includes the construction of up to 600 wind turbines off 5 coastal areas previously identified by the French government.

IBERDROLA www.iberdrola.com , one of the world’s five largest energy utilities, is present in 40 countries and is the global leader in renewable energy with over 14,000 MW of installed capacity. Since 2005, Iberdrola has been present in France where it operates 34 wind farms with an installed capacity of 321 MW from offices in Paris, Rennes and Nancy. The company has an offshore wind power project pipeline of more than 12,500 MW offshore, mainly in the United Kingdom, Germany and France, making it one of the key players in this sector.

EOLE-RES www.eoleres.com has specialized in the development, financing, construction and operation of renewable energy plants (wind power and photovoltaic solar energy) in the French market for over 15 years, and is responsible for 500 MW (megawatts) of renewable energy either installed or currently under construction in France.

The company is a subsidiary of British group RES, one of the world’s leading renewable energy developers with more than 6,000 MW installed capacity worldwide. The group also benefits from an offshore expertise as it has successfully applied its skills and experience to help deliver over 500 MW of consented offshore capacity in the UK.

AREVA has developed a low-carbon emission offer, relying on the group’s technologies, products and services Its expertise and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are setting the standard, and its responsible development is anchored in a process of continuous improvement. Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique integrated offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and related services.

The group is also expanding in renewable energies – wind energy, solar power, bioenergies, hydrogen and storage – to be one of the top three in this sector worldwide in 2012. With these two major offers, AREVA’s 48,000 employees are helping to supply ever safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people.

TECHNIP is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry. From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, over 30,000 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world’s energy challenges. Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

NEOEN MARINE, an independent French company especialising in the development of offshore wind power projects, is a subsidiary of NEOEN ( www.neoen.fr ) and of the Caisse des Depots et Consignations. NEOEN develops finances, builds and operates electricity generation plants powered by renewable energies: wind energy, solar power, and biomass.

With the support of its shareholders, NEOEN hopes to become one of the main independent green power producers in France by 2015, with an installed capacity target of 800 MW. NEOEN is also Portugal’s leader in large photovoltaic plants.