EDF EN Launches Construction of Its First Offshore Wind Farm

In collaboration with its C-Power partners, EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN) is launching the first phase of construction of a 300-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm, the first to be built in Belgian waters.

Located off Zeebrugge, the €153 million, the offshore project, in which EDF Energies Nouvelles owns a 20.8% interest, marks the company’s first offshore wind farm and, with its design for 60 wind turbines, is one of Europe’s largest offshore wind energy projects. Construction of the entire wind farm is set to take place over the period to 2011 or 2012.

The first “demonstration” phase slated for 30 MW in capacity, consists of installing six very high-power wind turbines (each with a capacity of 5 MW) by October 2008, 25 kilometers (km) off the coast on Thornton bank.

REpower will supply the wind turbines and perform the operations and maintenance services. Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chairman of the Management Board of REpower Systems AG, stated: “This is one of the first commercial offshore wind farms in Europe. The high share in debt financing is reflecting the great confidence in REpower’s reliable technology. The further expansion of offshore wind energy in Europe can no longer be contained.”

For EDF Energies Nouvelles, which envisages selectively establishing positions in offshore wind energy, the C-Power project boasts several favorable conditions, including risk shared between several partners, the possibility of a modest commitment over time and the supportive regime for offshore wind energy in Belgium.

Costs include the total development cost combined with the bulk of the cost for the connections needed for the 60 wind turbines. Financing has been arranged with Dexia, the lead manager, and Rabobank, a Dutch banking group.

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