498MW French OWF Faces Appeal

An appeal has been filed against the development of the 498MW Eoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises wind farm project off the coast of Fecamp, France.

Seven environmentalist organisations, including la Fédération Environnement Durable, Belle Normandie Environnement, Vent de Colère, La Société pour la Protection des Paysages et de l’Esthétique de la France, Robin des Bois et Cap Littoral, and Protection du site des Petites Dalles, have joined to submit an appeal to the Administrative Court of Appeal in Nantes against “the absurdity of this mammoth project of 83 giant wind turbines that are 175m high”.

The move follows the news from July, when the first three offshore wind projects off the French coast, to be developed by EDF and Enbridge, have received prefectural orders “authorizing the installation and operation” of wind farms, after which projects’ opponents announced they would start a legal action against the wind farms.

The project’s opponents claim its development will lead to the destruction of the emblematic site of Etretat, one of the most visited natural landscapes in France. Furthermore, they said they want to preserve the regional historical heritage and tourist attraction of the Alabaster Coast.

Also, they raised concerns about the lack of impact studies and the damage to the Natura 2000 site, Special Protection Area (SPA), worrying about the adverse effects of siting, high voltage cables and magnetic fields that could affect fish migration patterns and reproduction. In addition, the opponents noted that no economic analysis of “these outrageously expensive programs were conducted in an area where the main economic resources come from the coast”.

Enbridge and EDF EN will develop three large-scale offshore wind farms off the coast of France that would have a combined capacity of 1,428MW: the 498MW Eoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises wind farm off the coast of Fecamp, 450MW Eoliennes Offshore du Calvados project off the coast of Courseulles-sur-Mer, and the 480MW Parc du Banc de Guerande project, located off the coast of Saint-Nazaire.