EDF and WPD Join Forces for French Second Offshore Wind Round
EDF Energies Nouvelles and wpd offshore, two key players in European offshore wind energy, have announced the signing of a partnership agreement.
The agreement formalizes both groups’ decision to combine their expertise in the French government’s second call for tenders, with a view to continuing the development of offshore wind energy in France and pursuing the ambitious industrial project initiated with Alstom, the exclusive partner for the supply of wind turbines.
With the first success in the tender launched by the government in 2011, EDF Energies Nouvelles and wpd offshore demonstrated their ability to join forces to provide solid, efficient projects that take the territories’ economic and environmental challenges into account. With this second tender, the partners are thus strengthening their commitment to support a French offshore wind energy industry.
EDF EN and wpd offshore pursue the alliance forged with Alstom in 2011 for the supply of Haliade™ 150 – 6MW turbines manufactured in France at Alstom’s four future plants in Saint-Nazaire and Cherbourg. The partners will be able to expand the breadth and depth of the industrial project initiated at the time of the first tender, thereby coming closer in case of success to the critical size required to sustain this industrial sector over the long term.
EDF Energies Nouvelles is a global leader in renewable energies, and today a referenced operator in offshore wind energy with more than 277 MW currently under construction and approximately 2,500 MW under development.
With nearly 10 years of experience in delivering large-scale offshore projects, EDF EN brings expertise from two major projects: C-Power, a 325 MW offshore wind farm in Belgium with 215 MW already commissioned and the 62 MW Teesside project in the United Kingdom due to be completed in June 2013.
EDF EN thus reinforces its skill in management of offshore wind farms’ development and demonstrates its ability to mobilise partners around such projects. In France, the company is leading three projects: Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Nazaire, which represent nearly 1,400 MW and several years of technical studies and consultation. In the United Kingdom, the Group is a co-shareholder in the Navitus Bay project, one of the largest projects in the world with a capacity of 1,100 MW.
wpd offshore is a leader in European wind energy with a portfolio of 18 projects in 6 countries, 8 of which have obtained all the construction permits for a total capacity of 2,500 MW. The group’s first achievements are located in Germany, notably with Baltic I, the first offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea with a capacity of 48 MW. More recently, wpd offshore launched the construction of the Butendiek project in Germany, encompassing 80 offshore wind turbines in the North Sea for a capacity of 288 MW.
In France, wpd offshore has developed since 2007 numerous seaboard projects along the English Channel and the Atlantic, particularly in the area off the coast of the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier proposed in the second call for tenders, as well as the sites of Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-Mer, awarded in the first invitation to tender, in which wpd is a shareholder.
With this partnership, the two Groups will pool their know-how and their human and financial resources through a joint company in which EDF Energies Nouvelles will hold a controlling interest. The partners aim to develop a technically and financially competitive bid for the second offshore wind energy call for tenders launched by the Government. They will rely on the agreements signed with Alstom to propose a 6 MW French-made wind turbine especially designed for offshore wind farms. Alstom’s Haliade™ 150 – 6MW offshore turbine, specifically developed to meet the strict constraints imposed by the marine environment, is one of the largest and most powerful in the world. Simple, robust and efficient, the turbine is capable of supplying power equivalent to about 5,000 households per unit.
“We are very pleased to partner with a recognised European player in the field of offshore wind energy. The expertise of wpd offshore in project development and its knowledge of local challenges, associated to our industrial know-howas well as our experience as a green electricity producer are decisive advantages”, declared Yvon André, COO of EDF Energies Nouvelles. “After several years of working together, we can capitalise on our day-to-day collaboration and mutual trust to build a reliable bid for the French government’s second tender ”.
“We are delighted that the partnership will continue, as it flows naturally from our fruitful association during the first call for tenders”, added Vincent Balès, CEO of wpd offshore France. “We are benefiting from the creation of mixed development and engineering teams dedicated to the French projects and already established work modes. This solid organisation gives us a head start and allows us to concentrate on developing a competitive bid. We are relying on our complementary expertise, which has been considerably consolidated on both sides in the last two years, thanks to new offshore wind farms completed in Europe by the two groups”.
“After winning the first tender alongside EDF Energies Nouvelles and wpd offshore which share our vision and ambitions for the development of offshore wind energy, we are proud of this collaboration which reflects our partners’ confidence in the Alstom technology. This will allow further strengthen the ties created since the beginning of our partnership”, declared Jérôme Pécresse, President of Alstom Renewable Power. “Having obtained the power curve certification of our Haliade™ 150 – 6MW in early May, we will be in a position to supply the most efficient offshore turbines on the market today”.
Press release, May 30, 2013; Image: alstom