French court removes legal burden from 500-MW offshore wind project

Offshore wind farm. Author: Beverley Goodwin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

July 25 (Renewables Now) - The Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme administrative court, has rejected appeals against the 500-MW Saint Brieuc wind project in French waters, led by Spain’s Iberdrola (BME:IBE).

The project, being developed by Ailes Marines, was contested by an environmental protection association and a rival company after it was awarded in a tender in 2012. In its decision, issued on Wednesday, The Conseil d’Etat has ruled that the criticism regarding the legality of Ailes Marines’ operating license is unfounded but cited irregularities in the selection procedure. According to it, these concern the choice of the operator, as it was based on a criterion not provided for in the invitation to tender. The irregularities, however, do not affect the project itself, the court said.

As a result, French group Nass & Wind will be compensated by the state with EUR 2.5 million (USD 2.8m) for having been wrongly evicted from the selection process.

Ailes Marines is a partnership between Iberdrola, with a 70% stake, as well as Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Caisse des Depots. The partners were last year allowed to change the turbine model of the project from Adwen's AD 8-180 model to the SG 8.0-167 DD turbine by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (BME:SGRE). They said at the time that a final investment decision is planned to be taken in 2020.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.114)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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