The Conseil d’Etat approves the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm operating permit

EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, and Enbridge, a North American energy infrastructure company, are delighted with today’s ruling by the Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme administrative court. It brings to a close the appeal against the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm project’s operating permit.

This ruling is a further endorsement of the robustness of the project led by the Eolien Maritime France company (EMF) jointly controlled by EDF Renewables and Enbridge.

All the administrative permits required for the construction and operational phases of the project are now secured.

EMF has won the competitive bidding for the three offshore wind farm projects at Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp and Saint-Nazaire in 2012 when the French government launched its first call for tenders in the sector. The future 480 MW offshore wind farm will generate the equivalent of 20% of Loire-Atlantique department demand for electricity. It will make a significant contribution towards the French government’s objective of generating 32% of the electricity it consumes from renewable sources by 2030.

The project was developed with highly extensive environmental studies and wide-ranging consultation over more than 10 years by EDF Renewables and its partners in the area – local authorities, the region’s population, sea users and chiefly fishing professionals, environmental organisations, and local economic and social development agencies.

The Conseil d’Etat ruling will enable EDF Renewables and Enbridge to make progress with the project financing process before the investment is given its final go-ahead.

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies and Chairman & CEO of EDF Renewables, commented: “The Conseil d’Etat’s decision is a ringing endorsement of the robust groundwork undertake by EDF Renewables’ and Enbridge’s teams which have been working for 10 years with professionalism, openness and dedication on bringing the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind project through to fruition. I also wish to salute the backing for the project we received from the local parties. It allowed us to be ready to open the way for marine renewable energies to take shape in France. It will deliver a boost to the local economy. This landmark project fits perfectly with the EDF Group’s Cap 2030 strategy of doubling its worldwide renewable energy capacity in operation by 2030. We hope that it will be the first step towards an accelerated growth trajectory for offshore wind energy in France in the framework of the PPE [multiannual energy program].”

The Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm project, which was awarded to Eolien Maritime France in 2012, is a joint venture between EDF Renewables and Enbridge. The 480 MW wind farm will ultimately generate the equivalent of 20% of the Loire-Atlantique’s electricity consumption needs. The project’s wind turbines will be located between 12 and 20 km off the coast. During the project’s construction phase, more than 1,000 jobs will be mobilized in the Pays de la Loire region. During the operational phase, wind farm operations & maintenance activities based at the port of La Turballe will generate approximately one hundred sustainable local jobs. It is due to be commissioned in 2022. Each shareholder in the Eolien Maritime France joint venture possesses considerable experience in offshore wind farms and large-scale industrial projects: EDF Renewables brings its expertise in the development of renewable energy projects, including in the Belgian, British and German offshore wind sectors, and can harness all the EDF Group’s know-how in delivering very large-scale energy projects. Enbridge Inc. is a leading North American energy infrastructure company, and has significant investments in Europe with several offshore wind projects in development and construction, and one wind project in operation in the UK. Beyond the development of projects in France, EDF Renewables and Enbridge have reached a high degree of maturity over the past few years in the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind energy projects around the world.