EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, a subsidiary of Enbridge, a North American energy infrastructure company, and wpd, a European renewable energies company, are announcing the launch of construction activity on the Calvados offshore wind farm (Courseulles-sur-Mer). This announcement follows the finalisation of financing agreements between the consortium and its financial partners.
The 448-MW Calvados offshore wind project is comprised of 64 wind turbines located more than 10km from the Bessin coastline and occupies a total surface area of approximately 45km². Upon its commissioning, scheduled in 2024, it will generate the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 630,000 people, or over 90% of the Calvados French department’s population.
The total project cost is estimated at around €2 billion. The majority will be financed through non-recourse project finance debt. The Calvados offshore wind farm holds a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) granted by the French government in June 2018.
The three and a half-year construction project will create over 1,000 direct jobs in Normandy and will contribute to the development of the French’s offshore wind industry.
The project’s wind turbines will be manufactured in Le Havre at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s Quai Joannes Couvert plant, which is currently under construction. Upon commissioning scheduled in the first half of 2022, a total of 750 direct and indirect jobs will have been created. The plant will also manufacture the 71 wind turbines for the Fécamp offshore wind farm awarded to the same consortium, which construction began in June 2020. The wind turbines will be assembled at the Port of Le Havre, then shipped to the installation site. Offshore construction activity is due to commence in 2022.
RTE, which is responsible for connecting the wind farm from the offshore sub-station to Normandy’s electricity grid, will commence its onshore work in March 2021.
The consortium has now signed its main supply agreements with top-tier providers, including:
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) for the 64 7-MW wind turbines;
- Saipem for the monopile foundations;
- Prysmian Group for the sub-sea cables connecting the wind turbines to the offshore substation;
- Chantiers de l’Atlantique, plus GE Grid Solutions and SDI for the offshore sub-station.
During its service life, maintenance of the wind farm will create approximately 100 sustainable local jobs based at the port of Caen-Ouistreham.
This project is supported by an extensive public consultation carried out over 10 years with local stakeholders (government entities, elected officials in the Normandy region, coastline communities, local residents’ associations). In-depth environmental studies have been conducted by specialist engineering offices, in tandem with local nature and environmental protection associations. A close and continuous dialogue has also been established with the fishing industry to ensure the coexistence of various maritime users, especially scallop fishermen. Lastly, to reflect the site’s history and our collective duty of remembrance, a working group has been set up with members representing the ONAC-VG (National Office for Veterans and Victims of War) and the University of Caen, owing to the project’s proximity to the D-Day landing beaches.
All the project partners possess considerable experience in offshore wind farms and in the delivery of large-scale industrial projects:
- EDF Renewables, which owns 42.5% of the project via Eolien Maritime France, brings its expertise in the development, construction and operation of renewable energy projects, including in the offshore wind sector. The company has a portfolio of 6.5 GW of offshore wind assets and wind projects at various stages, operation, construction and development in Belgium, the UK, Germany, Ireland, the US and China.
- EIH S.à r.l., which owns 42.5% of the project via Eolien Maritime France, is a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., a leading North American energy infrastructure company, with substantial renewable energy investments across North America and investments in several major European offshore wind projects. In total, Enbridge has 5.1 GW of gross renewable energy capacity in construction and operation, and another 3.3 GW of gross renewable energy capacity in various stages of development.
- wpd, which owns 15% of the project, is a pioneer and a leading player in the offshore wind industry. The group has commissioned three wind farms in Germany, and recently gave the final go-ahead to invest in a 640 MW project in Taiwan. The company has a portfolio of 7.4 GW in offshore wind energy projects under development in Europe and Asia.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, commented: “We are thrilled to announce today that, together with our partners Enbridge and wpd, we are launching construction of the offshore wind Calvados (Courseulles-sur-Mer) project. The Saint-Nazaire, Fécamp and Calvados offshore wind farm projects awarded to EDF Renewables in the French government’s first call for tenders in 2012 are coming to fruition, with construction now underway. Everything is coming together for our teams and all the local stakeholders who have worked with such passion, determination and expertise to help bring about a major step forward for the local economy’s environmental and social transitions. In all, these three projects will provide employment for 7,000 people. Once the wind farms are in service, 300 sustainable jobs will be created, and they will generate sufficient electricity every year to cover the needs of 2 million people. In parallel, we continue to progress the development of the Dunkerque wind farm, the fourth projects awarded to us of the seven attributed by the French government. The EDF Group, a leading player in the French offshore wind segment, is proud to be playing its part in establishing this industry in France. Offshore wind energy is an integral part of EDF’s strategy, which has recently been enhanced and now aims to more than double its net renewable energy capacity worldwide from 28 to 60 GW between 2015 and 2030.”
Matthew Akman, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Power, Enbridge added: “We are pleased to have reached a final investment decision on our third offshore wind farm in France, and for construction to formally commence on the Calvados (Courseulles-sur-Mer) project. Over the past several years, we have firmly established Enbridge as a competitive player in offshore wind in Europe and developed an extensive portfolio of projects. Enbridge is investing in renewable power projects that support the transition to a lower-carbon economy and are aligned with our low-risk investment approach. The Calvados project is another proud achievement for us and our partners, EDF Renewables and wpd.”
Achim Berge Olsen, Executive Director of the wpd AG Group and Chairman and CEO of wpd offshore France commented: “We are very proud that this next step in the Courseulles-sur-Mer project has taken place, after a long work undertaken by our teams in 2008 in Normandy. Beyond the industrial opportunities created by this project, the Calvados park anchors the sustainability of offshore wind in the French energy mix. It also paves the way for future projects that will emerge off the French coast in the coming years, for which wpd intends to continue to play a major role.”