Work begins on 448MW Calvados offshore wind project
Work is underway on the 448MW Calvados offshore wind project at Courseulles-sur-Mer, which aims to open in 2024.
The consortium behind the €2 billion project, which comprises EDF Renewables (42.5%), Enbridge subsidiary EIH S.à r.l (42.5%) and wpd (15%), plans to operate 64 wind turbines 10kms from the Bessin coastline, occupying a surface area of 45sq kms.
Upon its commissioning, scheduled for 2024, it will generate the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 630,000 people, or over 90% of the Calvados French department's population.
The Calvados offshore wind farm holds a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) granted by the French government in June 2018.
The three and a half-year construction project will create over 1,000 direct jobs in Normandy and will contribute to the development of the French's offshore wind industry.
The project's wind turbines will be manufactured in Le Havre at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy's Quai Joannes Couvert plant, which is currently under construction.
Upon commissioning scheduled in the first half of 2022, a total of 750 direct and indirect jobs will have been created. The plant will also manufacture the 71 wind turbines for the Fécamp offshore wind farm awarded to the same consortium, which construction began in June 2020.
The wind turbines will be assembled at the Port of Le Havre, then shipped to the installation site, and offshore construction is due to start next year.
RTE, which is responsible for connecting the wind farm from the offshore sub-station to Normandy's electricity grid, will commence its onshore work in March.
The consortium has now signed its main supply agreements with:
- Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the 647MW wind turbines;
- Saipem for the monopile foundations;
- Prysmian Group for the sub-sea cables connecting the wind turbines to the offshore substation;
- Chantiers de l'Atlantique plus GE Grid Solutions and SDI for the offshore sub-station.
During its service life, maintenance of the wind farm will create approximately 100 sustainable local jobs based at the port of Caen-Ouistreham.
Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President Renewable Energies and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Renewables, said two other projects, at Saint-Nazaire and Fécamp, are also coming to fruition, and collectively will employ 7,000 people.
"In parallel, we continue to progress the development of the Dunkerque wind farm, the fourth projects awarded to us of the seven attributed by the French government," he said. "Offshore wind energy is an integral part of EDF's strategy, which has recently been enhanced and now aims to more than double its net renewable energy capacity worldwide from 28 to 60 GW between 2015 and 2030."
Matthew Akman, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Power, Enbridge added Enbridge is investing in renewable power projects that support the transition to a lower-carbon economy and are aligned with its low-risk investment approach.
Achim Berge Olsen, Executive Director of the wpd AG Group and Chairman and CEO of wpd offshore France, said beyond the industrial opportunities created by this project, the Calvados park anchors the sustainability of offshore wind in the French energy mix. "It also paves the way for future projects that will emerge off the French coast in the coming years, for which wpd intends to continue to play a major role."
Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power
The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.
Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.
Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.
Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.
“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.
“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”
Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.
“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”
Global renewables updates
ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).
Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.
Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.
LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy.