Areva plumps for Schneider offshore

Turbine maker Areva has named compatriot Schneider Electric as its preferred supplier of power equipment for offshore wind farms it is involving in developing off France, including the giant 500MW Saint Brieuc, Le Tréport and Yeu-Noirmoutier projects. 

Under the terms of the deal signed by the two French companies, which last month tied-up to advance hydrogen fuel cell energy storage systems, Schneider will provide transformers and circuit breakers, to be manufactured at its facilities near Metz and Grenoble.

"This agreement with Schneider further underscores our commitment to developing a complete industrial sector in France, providing job creation opportunities and harnessing our local expertise," states Areva Renewables chief executive Louis-François Durret.

Schneider's energy business unit vice president, Frédéric Abbal, adds: "The combination of expertise offered by our two companies proves highly promising for the rapid establishment of a leading French sector of excellence in offshore wind."

A consortium made up of GDF Suez, EDP Renewables, Neoen Marine, and Areva last November handed in a bid to the French government to build 1GW of offshore wind energy as early as 2021 in the waters off western France using 8MW turbines, a design for which is currently on the drawingboards at the OEM.