France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, developed by Canadian energy giant Enbridge Inc. in partnership with EDF Renewables and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, officially opened on Wednesday.
The 480 megawatt Saint-Nazaire wind farm consists of 80 turbines along the coast of the Loire-Atlantique region of France. It is expected to power the equivalent of 400,000 homes annually, or 20 percent of the Loire-Atlantique region’s electricity consumption.
The two billion euro project was developed as part of the French government’s goal to grow the country’s renewable energy sector. French President Emmanuel Macron said that France aims to have about 40 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity in operation by 2050, which would work out to about 50 offshore wind farms.
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Calgary-based Enbridge, which has a 25.5 percent ownership stake in the Saint-Nazaire project, is also eager to expand its wind power portfolio. Since 2015, the company’s involvement in European offshore wind energy has grown significantly, and includes ownership interests in the Rampion Offshore wind project in England and the Hohe See and Albatros wind projects off the coast of Germany.
Enbridge is also a partner in three other French wind projects – Fecamp, Calvados and Provence Grand Large – currently under construction.
In a statement on Wednesday, the company said it was pleased to see the Saint-Nazaire wind farm come online at a time when the global energy crisis underscores the importance of reliable, secure energy, especially in Europe.
“Enbridge is excited about the arrival of the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in France, the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, and about our role as a leader of the global energy transition,” said Matthew Akman, Enbridge’s senior vice- president for power, strategy and new energy technologies, in a news release.
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