Electrical Substation for Ocean Wind’s Offshore Wind Farm Sails Away

Electrical Substation for Ocean Wind’s Offshore Wind Farm Sails Away
(Image credit: Ocean Winds)

The offshore substation of Eoliennes en Mer Iles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier wind farm, a project developed by Ocean Winds (an ENGIE and EDPR joint venture), is ready to be installed at sea.

The success of the design, manufacturing, and integration phases of the offshore electrical substation was celebrated in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate in charge of Industry and Energy, Catherine MacGregor, Executive Director of ENGIE, and Laurent Castaing, General Director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

The nerve center of the wind farm is equipped with transformers. The topside main function is to collect the electricity produced by the wind turbines, raise the voltage, and transfer it to the onshore connection substation, where it is then injected into the onshore grid. The topside is also where all the data relating to the operation of the offshore wind farm circulates and is transferred to the coast in order to ensure the operation of the wind farm remotely. Everything is automated and secure so that reliable control and connection are guaranteed.

It weighs around 2,500 tons and measures 39 m long, 25.5 m wide, and 18 m high. Its supply requires a total of approximately 600,000 hours of work. It was realized by Atlantique Offshore Energy, Chantiers de l’Atlantique business unit dedicated to Marine Renewable Energy.

The substation will leave Saint-Nazaire in June to be installed off the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier, on the offshore site of the EMYM offshore wind farm.

The wind farm developed by Ocean Winds company, with its subsidiary Eoliennes en Mer Iles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier, represents a €2.5 billion investment. Its construction and offshore installation phase began in the summer of 2023. With its 61 wind turbines, of 8-MW capacity each, for a total installed capacity of nearly 500 MW, the offshore wind farm will produce around 1,900 GWh per year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 800,000 people. It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2025.

“This substation topside, built in 24 months, once again demonstrates Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s ability to successfully carry out turnkey projects for the construction and installation of offshore electrical substations. We thank all our workers and co-makers who work with passion to meet the unavoidable challenge of Europe’s energy transition,” said Frédéric Grizaud, Director of Atlantique Offshore Energy.

Catherine MacGregor, ENGIE’s Executive Director, added, “At ENGIE, we are delighted with this new milestone, which marks concrete progress in the construction of the Eoliennes en Mer Îles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier project. The gathering of the local players involved testifies to the territorial roots of the project, which contributes to employment and generates economic spin-offs, while developing our energy sovereignty. Thanks to its coastline, France has exceptional potential for offshore wind energy. ENGIE, with the expertise of Ocean Winds, is determined to accelerate its development.”


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