Iberdrola boosts French offshore wind ambitions

Image courtesy of Iberdrola

Iberdrola has increased its ambition in the offshore wind industry, following the conclusion of an agreement to take 100 per cent ownership of Ailes Marines.

The company is developing, constructing and operating the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm in France, a country that has become an increasingly strategic market for the Iberdrola.

Iberdrola, which previously owned 70 per cent of the consortium’s capital, has acquired the remaining 30 per cent from Avel Vor, after receiving the green light from the French Ministry of the Economy.

The transaction will add momentum to the project, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2021. Once fully operational in 2023, the installed capacity of 496 MW will produce enough clean energy to satisfy the needs of around 835,000 consumers.

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Jonathan Cole, Iberdrola’s global managing director for offshore wind, said: “The Saint-Brieuc project is now ready to get started on construction. All agreements are in place, the funding is secured and contracts are signed. Our detailed Industrial Plan will also support new factories and highly-skilled clean energy jobs in France. We are hoping that the final legal and administrative matters will be concluded quickly, and then this major €2.4bn ($2.7bn) investment in a cleaner energy future will be ready to run full speed.”

Located approximately 16 KM off the coast of Brittany, the Saint-Brieuc plant will require an overall investment of around €2.4bn. It will be equipped with 62 Siemens Gamesa wind turbines, each with an 8 MW capacity, installed in a 75-square-km area. The turbines will have a total height of 207 metres.

Iberdrola is also active in the energy retail market and is analysing new opportunities in onshore wind in France.

Nearly twenty years after pioneering the move into onshore wind, Iberdrola now continues to spearhead the development of offshore wind, a market with significant global potential. It currently has a project pipeline of circa 12.4 GW in three main areas: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the United States.

With 39 per cent out of Iberdrola’s total global investment plan up to 2022 earmarked for renewables, offshore wind is a cornerstone of the company’s strategy.

The group is currently operating three offshore wind farms: West of Duddon Sands, which began operations in the Irish Sea in 2014, and Wikinger, in the German waters of the Baltic Sea, operational since December 2017.

In the United Kingdom, the company’s largest project to date, East Anglia ONE, is now also generating power and nearing completion. Around 80 per cent of the wind turbines (82 of 102) are now installed. Once completed, the 714 MW of installed capacity will be capable of powering 630,000 UK homes for an investment of à‚£2.5bn.

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