The pilot floating wind farm project off Belle-Ile abandoned

They prefer to throw in the towel. Faced with rising costs and difficulties with two suppliers, Shell and its two partners give up their pilot farm of floating wind turbines off Belle-Ile-en-Mer (Morbihan), according to information from Echoes, confirmed by the oil group. This 300 million euro project was carried out by a consortium bringing together Shell, the Caisse des dépôts et consignations and the Chinese company CGN.

It was to allow testing of three wind turbines floating, a technology seen as the future of offshore wind power because it allows wind farms to be installed deeper, and therefore further from the coast, than wind turbines riveted to the sea floor. Three other floating pilot farms are announced in France, all in the Mediterranean.

Two suppliers withdraw from the project

But the Breton project ran into two pitfalls. First the withdrawal of the turbine manufacturer General Electric, which was to supply the 6 megawatt wind turbines but refocused on the manufacture of equipment that is now more powerful, then of the manufacturer of floats Naval Group, which sold its floating wind activity , according The echoes. Combined with the general rise in costs and the energy crisis, this no longer made it possible to build a sustainable economic model. Shell took over the project in 2019 by buying the company Eolfi, a former subsidiary of Veolia and a pioneer in floating wind power.

France, which is due to inaugurate its very first wind farm in a few days (80 wind turbines placed on the bottom) facing Saint-Nazaire, is counting on floating technology to be able to meet its ambitions of 40 gigawatts (about 50 parks) by 2050.

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