Installation of jacket foundations at the site of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm project in France has begun.
Five vessels have already been mobilized for this work. Seven Borealis will be used for the lifting and installation of the foundation, and North Sea Giant for sealing. Three tug vessels i.e. Kamarina, Eraclea, and Onyx in addition to two barges (Sarens Caroline and H401) have been deployed for transport operations. The vessels are being operated from the maritime coordination center located in Pleudaniel, Côtes d’Armor.
The Saint-Brieuc Offshore wind farm project will be the country’s second of its kind and the first to use jacket foundations. It will have a total of 62 jackets that will support Siemens Gamesa 8 MW turbines. The foundations are being delivered by Navantia and Windar, which sent off the first batch in early June.
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Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm project implementation to be environmentally sustainable
Reportedly, the jacket foundations’ lattice structures have a limited impact on the environment. They will facilitate the circulation of water masses and biodiversity. They will also promote the artificial reef effect according to the developer Ailes Marines. The latter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iberdrola. It said that it is continuing with security measures and environmental monitoring during this phase of work.
An anti-pollution system will be consolidated during the construction phase of the wind farm. These include new protocols, means of response, and equipment. A partnership with Documentation Center for Research and Experimentation on Accidental Water Pollution (CEDRE) made this possible. According to Ailes Marines, the anti-pollution system was tested during full-scale sea trials at the beginning of 2022. CEPPOL (Centre of practical expertise in pollution control) and CEDRE witnessed the tests.
Furthermore, during this phase of the work, two surveillance and information vessels will constantly be on site. In addition, the environmental monitoring measures for various fields including turbidity, fishing, marine mammals, birds, acoustics, etc. will continue during all the phases of the installation of the wind farm’s major components.
Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm project in a nutshell
Saint Brieuc offshore is a 496MW wind farm scheme being constructed at the English Channel from the coast of Saint Brieuc Bay, France. It is one of the largest commercial-scale offshore wind schemes in France.
The scheme is being developed by Ailes Marines, a partnership of RES Group, Iberdrola, and Caisse des Dépôts, a French public sector financial institution with an evaluated investment of $2.8bn. The wind farm is designed to produce sufficient power to meet the daily electricity needs of over 835,000 homes.
A 62 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbine will be fixed on jacket foundations in seven rows in the Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm. The rows will be 1.3km apart, while the turbines will be 1km from each other. A 225kV offshore substation will also be developed on a jacket foundation at the heart of the wind farm.
Each one of the three-bladed Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 direct drive turbines to be used by the offshore wind farm will contain a hub height of 207m, 81.5m-long blades, a swept area of 21,900m², and a 167m-diameter rotor. Every turbine will be able to generate 8MW of electricity.
The turbines will be installed with the modern High Wind Ride Through (HWRT) system, which slows down the power output rather than shutting down when wind speed exceeds 25m/s. It allows a smoother production ramp-down and more authentic power generation.
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In January, Siemens Gamesa was appointed as the turbine supplier for the Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm. The scheme’s construction was expected to start in 2019 and commissioning was scheduled for 2023.
Atkins was selected as the front-end engineer and designer (FEED) and the detailed design tender for the wind turbine jacket substructures in January.
The analysis of the environmental and technical conditions was completed, this was met after the installation of three wind measuring systems, on the site. The exercise spent two years recording the area’s wind power potential using the LIDAR system (Laser Imaging Detection And Ranging).
Saint-Brieuc will bear Spain’s seal, because the jackets and the piles will be constructed entirely by Navantia-Windar, in Fene, of which a 1,600-tonne caterpillar crane will be deployed for the final assembly, and Avilés, respectively.
Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm is the largest offshore wind contract in the history of the shipyard at €350 m, and it will offer more than 2,000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect ones. The assembly work for the foundations commenced after the arrival of the structural tubes at the ports of Ferrol and Brest. The constituent parts’ final assembly will complete at the Galician shipyard facilities.
US $2.8bn Bay of Saint Brieuc wind power plant to be developed in offshore France
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has received the firm order from Ailes Marine, an affiliate of Iberdrola, for 62 SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbines for the 496MW Bay of Saint Brieuc offshore wind power plant. This order also includes a 10-year agreement for turbine maintenance services.
The Bay of Saint Brieuc offshore wind power plant will produce the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 835,000 people. The main components of the 62 turbines of the Bay of Saint Brieuc offshore wind power plant will be produced at Siemens Gamesa’s planned offshore wind turbine factory in Le Havre.
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Providing clean energy and combatting climate change
According to Andreas Nauen, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit, they are extremely excited to add France to the many markets around the world where their offshore wind turbines contribute to providing clean energy and combatting climate change. “Making Bay of Saint Brieuc Siemens Gamesa’s first firm offshore order in France is a historic moment and a testament to our dedication to growth in the market, and to driving the globalization of offshore wind energy. We thank Ailes Marines for their confidence in our products as well as our manufacturing plans for France,” he added.
Filippo Cimitan, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy France further added that this is excellent news for the energy transition, the offshore wind energy sector, and the industry in France. This first firm order is an important step toward the concretization of the industrial plant project in Le Havre and confirms Siemens Gamesa’s status as the leading supplier of offshore wind turbines in the market.
Javier García Perez, President of Ailes Marines and Iberdrola’s International Offshore Business Director said that by selecting Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s 8MW wind turbines, Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm secures a best-in-class, high-performance technology. “Ailes Marines is fully committed to the development of the French offshore wind industry, which is creating thousands of high-skilled jobs, driving the green economic and industrial recovery of France, and contributing to delivering the renewables-led net-zero targets,” he added.
Dutch maritime services company Van Oord was to take the duty for 62 jackets and the marine substation transportation and installation. Van Oord started working on the open sea with the anchor bolts installation, for which it would launch its high seas support boat, Aeolus, specifically designed for offshore wind farms construction.
It would get assistance from a second vessel in 2022. The power evacuation from the offshore wind farm will be managed by the French power transmission system operator Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE). RTE is the contracting authority and scheme manager for the grid connection.
In August Van Oord’s Aeolus embarked on drilling work at the Saint-Brieuc wind farm offshore France after work was halted by the spillage of hydraulic fluid from one of the drills.
On 31 October, Ailes Marines revealed construction exercise for the first phase of the year had ended. To date, 5 wind turbine areas and an electrical substation area have been drilled.
EDS HV Group, a subsidiary of James Fisher Renewables that provides expert high voltage engineering services to the renewables industry was awarded a contract to deliver the high voltage safety management commissioning phase at Ailes Marines.
The company will be responsible for managing all the aspects of high voltage safety throughout the construction of the Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm, including overseeing electrical safety for all contractors visiting the site. Reportedly, in addition to EDS’s own team, local personnel will be brought in to assist with the control function of the project.