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Iles d'Yeu and Noirmoutier offshore wind farm reaches Final Investment Decision and starts construction

Ocean Winds, Sumitomo Corporation, Banque des Territoires and Vendée Energie, as shareholders of the company “Eoliennes en Mer des îles d'Yeu et de Noirmoutier” (EMYN), announce today the final investment decision for the Îles d'Yeu and Noirmoutier project, the fifth offshore wind farm to be commissioned in France from 2025 and located off the coast of Vendée.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

The project involves the construction and installation of a wind farm located 11 km off the island of Yeu and 16 km off the island of Noirmoutier. This offshore wind farm will supply nearly 800,000 people with electricity each year, the equivalent of the population of Vendée.

The Yeu and Noirmoutier wind farm represents an investment of around €2.5 billion. The signing of all the financing agreements took place on April 5th, 2023.

Nine years of development

Winner in 2014 of the call for tenders launched by the French State in 2013, EMYN has developed the project since then, implying a continuous dialogue with local elected officials, fisheries and sea users, socio-economic players and the general public. Detailed engineering studies, environmental studies and the creation of a Scientific Interest Group to follow-up and accompany the environmental impacts of the wind farm, from its construction to its exploitation, have also been carried out. The administrative authorisations were obtained in 2018 and the appeals were lifted before the French courts at the beginning of the year.

Start of the construction phase

The final investment decision opens the way for the construction phase of the project: the first offshore operations will take place this summer before the effective start of the installation operations in 2024 and 2025.

From spring 2024, maritime work will begin by the installation of the monopile foundations, the electrical substation built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, and the installation of the first submarine cables by Louis-Dreyfus TravOcean. The companies DEME and Jan de Nul will be responsible for the transport and installation of the foundations and wind turbines. At the same time, RTE, which is responsible for the connection of the wind farm, will set up a double submarine connection to transfer the electricity generated at sea to the onshore grid.

The wind turbines, produced by Siemens Gamesa in its Le Havre facility, will be installed in 2025.

The wind farm is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2025.

The construction phase of the EMYN wind farm, which will last 2.5 years, will create 1,600 direct jobs in France. It will contribute to the development of the French offshore wind energy industry.

The financing structure

The project involves robust international public and private financing, led by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and a syndicate of 16 banks: 6 French banks, 4 Japanese banks, 2 British banks, 2 Spanish banks, 1 German bank and 1 Dutch bank. The financing is provided through shareholders backed financing and non-recourse debt. It was raised with the support of Société Générale, who acted as the financial advisor to the project.

“I am delighted to see the EMYN wind farm come to reality thanks to the support of all its partners and the team, whose great involvement I would like to thank. A new page is being written with the start of the construction phase, a stage during which we will continue to enthusiastically mobilise our know-how and our experts in order to meet the challenges of this collective project”, says Paolo Cairo, President of the “Eoliennes en Mer des iles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier” company.

A project supported by Vendée Energie

Vendée Energie, a semi-public company for the production and distribution of renewable energy, created by the elected representatives of the Vendée through the SYDEV and the “Conseil Départemental de la Vendée”, acquired a capital participation in the EMYN wind farm in October 2022. This is the first time in France that such a company has acquired a stake in an offshore wind farm, thus illustrating the Vendée’s concrete commitment to the energy transition.

"This partnership was born of a deep-seated conviction: the essential energy transition must be embodied in local projects built in close collaboration with the stakeholders concerned and must result in local economic benefits. This is the sine qua non condition for their acceptability and success," explains Alain Leboeuf, President of the Vendée Departmental Council and President of Vendée Energie.

Oceans Winds
Press Office
Ocean Winds, France, offshore, wind farm, final investment decision, construction, start, phase, wind farm, electricity, development

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