The Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme administrative court, has ruled that the long-delayed Saint-Nazaire offshore windfarm planned by EDF Renewables can finally go ahead.
Responding to the court’s decision, EDF said it was “delighted” with the ruling, which brought to a close an appeal against the permit for the project.
“This ruling is a further endorsement of the robustness of the project led by Eolien Maritime France (EMF), the company jointly controlled by EDF Renewables and Enbridge,” EDF said.
All the administrative permits required for the construction and operational phases of the project are now secured.
EMF won the contract for three offshore wind projects – Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp and Saint-Nazaire – in 2012, when the French Government launched its first call for tenders in the sector.
The Conseil d’Etat ruling regarding the 480-MW project will enable EDF Renewables and Enbridge to make progress with the project financing process before the investment is given its final go-ahead.
The windfarm will ultimately generate the equivalent of 20% of the Loire-Atlantique’s electricity consumption needs. The wind turbines will be located between 12 km and 20 km off the coast. It is due to be commissioned in 2022.
GE Renewable Energy, which will provide the turbines for the project, said it welcomed the decision rendered by the Conseil d’État. “This is a significant step for offshore wind in France, and we are excited to be part of it,” said GE, which remains committed to executing the project and will move forward with assembling the Haliade-150 6MW turbines, once EMF reaches financial close and issues the notice-to-proceed.