Compagnie du Vent moves ahead with 700 MW offshore wind farm
(ADPnews) - Dec 30, 2010 - La Compagnie du Vent, a subsidiary of French utility GDF Suez (EPA:GSZ), has confirmed it will proceed with further studies on its 700 MW Deux Cotes project for France's first offshore wind farm.
"We will carry out additional studies to meet the public expectations and optimise the project," said Jean-Michel Germa, the president of La Compagnie du Vent.
Following a public consultation between April 28 and September 10, 2010, the wind farm developer announced that 65% of the population in the Somme and Seine-Maritime departments are in favour of the project.
Still, interested parties have suggested changes in the original project with respect to landscape integration and fisheries. In 2011 Compagnie du Vent will carry out all the necessary complementary studies and finalise the project to start construction in 2012.
Under the current project the Deux Cotes wind farm will have 140 wind turbines, situated at an average distance of 18 km off the coast. The facility's annual output will meet the power needs of 900,000 people while avoiding about 2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.
The total investment for the wind park is calculated at EUR 1.8 billion (USD 2.4bn).
According to project manager Bernard Monluc, the construction of the Deux Cotes wind farm will create 2,000 jobs over three years and 150 more permanent jobs during its 30-year operation lifetime.
Also, according to the developer's calculations, the wind farm, which should be fully operational in 2015, will contribute 4% of the French targets for electricity production from renewable sources.
Along its 5,500 km (3,418 miles) long coast, France is planning to build up 6,000 MW of wind power capacity by 2020, as part of a target to derive 23% of its energy mix from renewable sources.
This year, the government said it would call a series of tenders for the installation of offshore wind turbines with an overall capacity of 3,000 MW. The projects, which will be given priority, will be selected in the third quarter of 2011 on the basis of two criteria -- the purchase price for the electricity produced from the wind turbines and the period of commissioning of the facilities.