Paris-headquartered cabling giant Nexans has landed the €115m ($127m) job of connecting the Iberdrola-led Ailes Marines consortium’s Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm in the French Atlantic to the national grid.
Nexans will supply 67km of offshore and 93km of onshore 225kV export line to link the 496MW project, located 16km off the Brittany, under a contract with France’s transmission system operator (TSO) RTE.
“This project will be the first offshore connection developed by Nexans for RTE. As such, RTE expects this project to be successful as well as to mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship,” said Jean Michel Prost, marine activities director at the TSO .
Laurent Guillaumin, business development director in Nexans’ Eurpean offshore wind unit, said: “We are delighted to be working with RTE to provide the grid connection for it one of France’s most significant offshore wind projects.”
The submarine cabling being delivered for the project, which will power some 835,000 homes once online in 2023, features in innovative hybrid armouring solution, along with an optic element for remote ‘health monitoring’ of the cable link and transmission of information between the offshore wind farm and land base.
Nexans cable-laying vessel CS Skagerrak, outfitted with the specialised technology to trench and bury the offshore line, is being assigned the Saint-Brieuc contract, which also includes inspection, maintenance and repair services. Laying its slated for spring 2022.
The offshore portion of the link will be manufactured at Nexans’ factory in Halden, Norway, while the land cable will be supplied by its plant in Charleroi, Belgium.
Saint-Brieuc is one of the long-delayed first phase French offshore wind farms. Last January , the French government cleared Ailes Marines to switch turbines for Saint Brieuc, swapping out the 8MW Adwen AD8-180 – manufacture of which was halted after Siemens merged with Gamesa, which had been jointly developing the ultra-large turbine – for the same-nameplate Siemens Gamesa D8 model.
Last month, GE Renewable Energy announced the start of production of 80 of its Haliade 150-6MW turbines for what will be France’s first offshore wind farm at a commercial scale, 480MW Saint-Nazaire, being developed by the Eolien Martime France consortium with an eye on start-up in 2022.