Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced this week that it will supply 62 of its new 8-megawatt direct-drive offshore wind turbines to the 500 megawatt Saint Brieuc project in France, bringing the company’s total supplied capacity in French waters up over 1.5 gigawatts.
Back in September, during Siemens Gamesa’s first few months as a newly-merged entity, the company informed Ailes Marines — the developer of the 500 megawatt (MW) Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm off the coast of Bretagne (Brittany) in the northwest of France — that it would no longer be manufacturing the Adwen AD8 wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa being Adwen’s main shareholder) in an effort to focus on its offshore direct-drive platform. At the time, Siemens Gamesa offered its 8 MW direct-drive turbine to the Saint Brieuc project, and this week it has been announced that Ailes Marines has accepted and will proceed with the new turbine.
The move was also approved by the French Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.
The 8 MW direct-drive wind turbine being offered by Siemens Gamesa, the SG 8.0-167 DD, boasts a rotor diameter of 167 meters with B82 blades of nearly 82 meters in length. This increases the turbine’s swept area by 18% and provides up to 20% higher annual energy production than its predecessor, the SWT-7.0-154.
“This switch of technology for Saint Brieuc project is positive news for the project as well as for the whole industry,” said Andreas Nauen, CEO Offshore at Siemens Gamesa. “It demonstrates the leadership position of Siemens Gamesa in the offshore wind market in France. The strong dedication of our company to offer reliable and competitive solutions while contributing to the local economic and industrial development will allow offshore wind to become a motor of the energy transition in Bretagne.”
This confirmation that Siemens Gamesa will supply the 500 MW Saint Brieuc project brings the company’s total capacity supplied in France up to 1.524 gigawatts (GW) in the form of 189 direct-drive turbines. Other projects include the 500 MW Dieppe/Le Tréport, 500 MW Yeu/Noirmoutier, and the 24 MW Provence Grand. It also increases the number of 8 MW direct-drive turbines supplied since September of 2017 to more than 300 worldwide, a figure which is expected to increase to over 1,000 by 2020.
As for the Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm, initial construction has already begun and full-scale construction is expected to begin later this year, with completion and operation set for late 2020. Investment in the project is estimated at around €2.5 billion ($3 billion) and will be completed without any public subsidies, according to Ailes Marines.