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EIB finances first three French offshore wind turbines


Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, June 28th 2022 à 16:00 | Read 670 times



The wind turbines off Port Saint Louis du Rhône will be anchored by cables (photo: SBM Offshore)
The wind turbines off Port Saint Louis du Rhône will be anchored by cables (photo: SBM Offshore)
FRANCE. The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced on Tuesday 28 June 2022 the conclusion of three financing agreements for the installation and commissioning of the first floating offshore wind turbines in France.

Planned to be located off the French Mediterranean coast and anchored to the seabed by submarine cables, these three demonstrators all use different technologies. The projects were selected following a call for tenders launched by Ademe, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency. Supported by the European Commission, these loans amount to a total of €210 million.

The first project, supported by the company Parc Éolien Offshore de Provence Grand Large, a subsidiary of EDF Renouvelables and Enbridge Eolien France 2 S.à.r.l (EEF2), a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. and CPP Investments, is located 40 km west of Marseille and 17 km off the coast of Port Saint Louis du Rhône. It benefits from a €50m loan from the EIB covering design, development, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. It is also supported by the "energy demonstration projects" section of the European Commission's InnovFin scheme (NER 300 and ERDF programmes) and the South Region.

It will comprise three Siemens Gamesa turbines with a total capacity of around 25 MW installed on so-called "tensioned anchor line" floats designed by SBM Offshore and IFP Énergies Nouvelles. They are scheduled to come on stream in 2023.

The bank has already signed several offshore wind farms, including Fécamp in 2020, with the same operator.

SIEF to the rescue

The second, called Eolmed, is being developed by independent power producer Qair some 18 km off the coast of Narbonne in the Occitanie region and is being financed to the tune of €85m by the EIB under the mandate of the European Commission's European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSi). Its construction will start in autumn 2022 and it will be commissioned in mid-2024. This pilot farm will be composed of three Vestas wind turbines of 10 MW each for a total capacity of 30 MW installed on floats with semi-submersible barge. They will be connected to the Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE) by a submarine cable.

The last one, the Éoliennes flottantes du Golfe du Lion (EFGL), will see the light of day at the end of 2023, 16 km off the coast of Leucate (Aude) and Le Barcarès (Pyrénées-Orientales) at a depth of 70 metres, thanks to its two shareholders, Ocean Winds (a joint venture between the Portuguese company EDP Renewables and the French energy company Engie) and the Banque des Territoires de l'autre (Groupe Caisse des Dépôts - CDC).

The final investment decision was taken at the end of January 2022 to develop three 10 MW Vestas wind turbines, installed on Windfloat technology floats registered by Principle Power. This is a replica of the EIB-funded Windfloat Atlantic project in Portugal.
EFGL has been granted a €75m loan by the bank, also under the SIEF mandate.



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