Britanny, France’s province abutting the Atlantic & the English Channel, has this week seen initial power flows from the region’s first offshore wind farm, equipped with the most powerful turbines erected in the nation.

Spanish-owned Iberdrola, Europe’s third biggest power company as ranked by company value, has commissioned the 496 MW park off Saint-Brieuc, facing Jersey.

The first of the farm’s 62 marine turbines were erected in 2021. Saint-Brieuc will produce 1,820GWh each year, around 9% of all electricity consumed across the entire province.

Only the 714MW East Anglia One park in the North Sea is more powerful of Iberdrola’s three other farm already generating in European waters. The company’s 1.4 GW East Anglia Three project is under construction, as is its 476MW Baltic Eagle venture off Germany.

Iberdrola is also building the USA’s first big marine turbine cluster, the 806 MW Vineyard Wind farm off Massachusetts.

Saint-Brieuc will outperform Ibedrola’s 389MW Duddon Sands park in the Irish Sea and the 350MW Wikinger farm in the Baltic.

Its 62 turbines, each rated at 8MW, is now feeding into the French grid, managed by RTE. The nuclear power of state-controlled EdF continues to dominate France’s electricity market, accounting for up to 78%.

Iberdrola provided all the €2.4 billion which Saint-Brieuc cost to build. Its development began in April 2012.

Construction of the wind farm has mobilised more than 1700 jobs in France, nearly a third of them in Brittany. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy built Saint-Brieuc’s turbines at its new industrial site in Le Havre.

Navantia Windar assembled the jacket foundations. Electrical contractors Haizea Breizh, also on the Brest polder, assembled the masts’ electrical equipment.

“We are particularly proud to announce the full commissioning of Saint-Brieuc, twelve years after we were named the bid’s winner, “said Emmanuel Rollin, Iberdrola’s director for France.

“The challenge for us, as a European leader in renewables, was to create the foundations of a sustainable industrial sector for French offshore wind power. We have worked hard to involve local companies in this project by supporting them in this fast-growing segment ,” said his colleague Stéphane-Alain Riou, director of offshore wind energy


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