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After years as nuclear powerhouse, France makes play in offshore wind

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This picture, from Sept. 2022, exhibits French President Emmanuel Macron talking with staff on board a ship throughout a go to to the Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm.

Stephane Mahe | AFP | Getty Pictures

A facility described as “France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind mission” is absolutely operational, multinational utility EDF mentioned this week.

The information represents a big step ahead for the nation’s offshore wind sector, with extra tasks set to come back on-line within the years forward.

In an announcement Wednesday, EDF mentioned the 480-megawatt Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm would assist to “assist the French State’s power transition objectives, which embrace targets to generate 32% of its power from renewable sources by 2030.” EDF’s majority shareholder is the French state.

Situated in waters off the south west coast of France, the Saint-Nazaire mission consists of 80 generators. Its first electrical energy was generated in June 2022.

Trying forward, EDF mentioned the wind farm would “provide the equal of the consumption of 700,000 folks with electrical energy yearly.”

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Whereas the Saint-Nazaire mission represents a big shot within the arm for France’s nascent offshore wind sector, the nation has for many years been one thing of a powerhouse in the case of nuclear.

In accordance with the World Nuclear Affiliation, France is dwelling to 56 operable reactors. “France derives about 70% of its electrical energy from nuclear power,” it provides.

In wind energy, the nation has a longtime onshore sector. Its offshore business is in contrast miniscule, with a cumulative capability of simply 2 MW in 2021, in line with figures from business physique WindEurope.

That is set to vary within the coming years. “Offshore installations are lastly set to take off as of 2022, and we count on 3.3 GW of offshore wind installations from now till 2026,” WindEurope’s Wind Power in Europe report, which was printed in Feb. 2022, mentioned.

In an announcement, EDF Renewables’ CEO Bruno Bensasson expressed pleasure in commissioning what he referred to as “France’s first industrial offshore wind farm.”

“Over the previous 10 years, this mission has contributed to the development of the offshore wind energy business in France and has mobilized a big variety of jobs throughout development and now within the working section,” he later added.

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