GE Renewable Energy (NYSE:GE) today announced it will provide 43 wind turbines and a full services agreement for two new wind projects in eastern France. The Rougemont and Vaite wind farms are being developed by Opale Energies Naturelles on behalf of Velocita Energies, and the sites will install a combined 120 MW of GE technology over the next two years. The agreement marks GE’s largest French onshore wind deal to date and will include the largest installation of its 2.75-120 technology anywhere in Europe.
“We are building the largest wind farms in Franche-Comté, and once completed, the wind cluster we have established here with the nearby Monts du Lomont wind farm will be the most powerful in France,” said Alan Baker, COO of Velocita. “Our goal is to ensure that the local community benefits from these projects as much as possible. GE has a well-established presence in this region and is collaborating with us to source some of the components locally and provide technical support from a new regional service center.”
The Rougemont and Vaite announcement follows GE’s recent announcement that it would also supply turbines for the Monts du Lomont wind farm, another Velocita project in the Franche-Comté region. The ongoing collaboration between the two companies is expected to help the region meet its objective of attaining 600 MW of wind energy by 2020.
“GE is committed to the continued development of wind power in France,” said Anne McEntee, president and CEO of GE’s onshore wind business. “Our technology investments are helping our customers build new projects in regions that were less accessible to wind energy before. The turbines set to be installed at Rougemont and Vaite will be our tallest machines in France.”
The 2.75-120 is an uprated version of GE’s 2.5-120 machine, which is intended for the low wind speeds found in IEC Class III conditions.
Construction will begin in the second half of 2016. Most of the turbines are scheduled to be installed late next year, with one additional phase of construction coming in late 2017. The first phase of commercial operations will begin in early 2017, and both wind farms will be fully operational in 2018.
Velocita Energy Developments Ltd. was established in 2011 to finance the development, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in several countries in Europe. It currently operates in the U.K. and France with a total portfolio under active development of over 1,200 MW. To date Velocita has already secured more than €250 million of investment in the French renewable energy market.