€2.4bn Brittany windfarm: Iberdrola set to begin work

Spain’s Iberdrola is poised to start work on a €2.4bn windfarm off the coast of Brittany after buying out the consortium that was developing it.

The 496MW Saint-Brieuc project is to be funded and built by Ailes Marines consortium, in which Iberdrola owned a 70% stake.

The Spanish company has now bought the whole of the project from UK energy developer Renewable Energy Systems and finance group Caisse des Depots et Consignations.

Saint-Brieuc was awarded to Ailes Marine by the government of France in 2012, but delayed by a legal challenge from environmental protection association and a rival company.

This case was decided in Ailes’ favour last year by the Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme administrative court.

Jonathan Cole, Iberdrola’s global managing director for offshore wind, told the Recharge website: "The Saint-Brieuc project is now ready to get started on construction. All agreements are in place, the funding is secured and contracts are signed.

"Our detailed industrial plan will also support new factories and highly-skilled clean energy jobs in France. We are hoping that the final legal and administrative matters will be concluded quickly, and then this major €2.4bn investment in a cleaner energy future will be ready to run full speed."

Jean-François Petit, the chief executive of RES, said in a press statement that his company had supplied Iberdrola with "all our expertise and know-how in offshore wind energy, our knowledge of the French market, private and institutional stakeholders, and our skills particularly adding value in legal, environmental and technical matters".

The farm will consist of 62 Siemens Gamesa 8MW turbines, installed in a 75 sq km area some 16km off the coast of Brittany commune of Saint-Brieuc. It is due to begin supplying power in 2023.

Image: Siemens’ Gamesa turbines in the Irish Sea (Orsted)

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