The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced on March 23 that it had granted a € 350 million credit line to a consortium made up of EDF Renouvelables, Enbridge and wpd to co-finance the construction of a wind farm off Courseulles-sur-Mer in France.
“The Investment Plan for Europe supports the construction of a new wind farm in the west of France,” said European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, adding that the project will provide energy suitable for some 630,000 people and will create more than 1,000 jobs. “This is another step towards achieving our goal of climate neutrality by 2050 and highlights the economic potential of going green,” he said.
According to the EBRD, this funding will be guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Worth estimated at 2 billion euros, the project includes the construction of 64 wind turbines located more than 10 kilometers off the French coast. With a capacity of 450 MW, it will produce the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 630,000 people, or more than 90% of the population of Calvados. It is expected to enter service in 2024.
Construction is expected to last three and a half years and create more than 1,000 direct jobs in Normandy, particularly in Le Havre where the wind turbines will be manufactured and assembled in a Siemens Gemesa plant under construction. During the life of the wind farm, the project will create around one hundred permanent jobs in the port of Caen-Ouistreham for maintenance operations.
The EU bank has recognized expertise in financing offshore wind farms. In 2020, the EIB co-financed the largest French offshore wind farm project off Fécamp (also in Normandy) within a consortium of the same organizations. This funding is also guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle said this second financing of an offshore wind farm in Normandy, France confirms that the bank’s transformation into an EU climate bank is gaining momentum. “This transaction consolidates our expertise in fixed and floating offshore wind turbines, like other innovative projects that we are financing elsewhere in Europe,” he said.