As a nuclear powerhouse for decades, France recreates an offshore breeze

As a nuclear powerhouse for decades, France recreates an offshore breeze

November 28, 2022: A facility described as “France’s initial commercial-scale offshore wind project” is completely operational, multinational utility EDF added.

The news represents a new step forward for the country’s offshore wind sector, with projects to come online in the years ahead.

On Wednesday, EDF added that the 480-megawatt Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm is helping to “support the French State’s energy transition goals, including targets to generating 32% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2030.” EDF’s majority shareholder is the French state.

Located in waters off the southwest coast of France, the Saint-Nazaire project includes 80 turbines. Its electricity was generated in June 2022.

Looking ahead, EDF stated that the wind farm would “supply the equivalent of the consume 700,000 people with electricity every year.”

While the Saint-Nazaire project represents a huge shot in the arm for France’s nascent offshore wind sector, the country has been a powerhouse for decades regarding nuclear power.

According to the World Nuclear Association, France is the home country to 56 operable reactors. “France derives 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy,” it added.

In wind power, the country has an onshore sector. Its offshore industry is, by difference, minuscule, with a cumulative capacity of 2 MW in 2021, according to the figures from industrial body WindEurope.

This is set to change in the upcoming years. “Offshore installations are set to take off of the future 2022, and we anticipate 3.3 GW of offshore wind installations from until 2026,” WindEurope’s Wind Energy in Europe report, published in Feb. 2022, added.

In a statement, EDF Renewables’ CEO Bruno Bensasson shows pride in commissioning what he calls “France’s first industrial offshore wind farm.”

“Over the past ten years, this project has given to the construction of the offshore wind power industry and has mobilized a huge number of jobs in construction and the operating phase,” he later added.

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