EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, EIH S.à r.l, a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., a North American energy infrastructure company, and wpd, a European renewable energies company, have launched the construction activity on the Calvados offshore wind farm (Courseulles-sur-Mer) on Feb. 22. This announcement follows the finalization of financing agreements between the consortium and its financial partners.

The 448-MW Calvados offshore wind project is comprised of 64 wind turbines located more than 10 km from the Bessin coastline and occupies a total surface area of approximately 45 sq km. Upon its commissioning, scheduled in 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 total project cost is estimated at around €2 billion (US$2.4 billion). The majority will be financed through non-recourse project finance debt. 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. Offshore construction activity is due to commence in 2022.

The consortium has now signed its main supply agreements with top-tier providers, including Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) for the 64 7-MW wind turbines; Saipem for the monopile foundations; Prysmian Group for the sub-sea cables connecting the wind turbines to the offshore substation; and 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.

“We are pleased to have reached a final investment decision on our third offshore wind farm in France, and for construction to formally commence on the Calvados (Courseulles-sur-Mer) project,” Matthew Akman, Enbridge ‘s senior vice president of strategy and power, said. “Over the past several years, we have firmly established Enbridge as a competitive player in offshore wind in Europe and developed an extensive portfolio of projects. Enbridge is investing in renewable power projects that support the transition to a lower-carbon economy and are aligned with our low-risk investment approach. The Calvados project is another proud achievement for us and our partners, EDF Renewables and wpd.”