Today in Saint-Nazaire, Alstom inaugurated France’s first offshore wind turbine production plants in the presence of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Alstom Chairman and Managing Director Patrick Kron, and Alstom Renewable Power Chairman Jérôme Pécresse.
Thanks to these new plants devoted to the production of wind turbine nacelles and generators, Alstom will be in a position to meet the growing needs emerging on this market, not only in France but also worldwide.
Those plants will manufacture nacelles and generators for the Haliade™ 150-6MW turbines. As for the towers and blades, they will be made in the Alstom plants in Cherbourg. Construction work begun in May 2013 was completed this autumn, once the equipment was transferred from the temporary facility to the final plants.
Currently, the Saint-Nazaire plants are located within a 14-hectare area and they cover a total surface of 19,000 m². These are the first industrial buildings in France whose project and design have been certified High Environmental Quality (HQE). Ultimately, the Saint-Nazaire plants will employ about 300 workers, including 200 assembling the nacelles and 100 producing generators. They worked in close cooperation with a network of subcontractors and co-contractors – particularly regional – in the framework of a dialogue initiated several years earlier.
The plants have been sized to each produce up to 100 machines every year. They will be fully operational in early 2015, in keeping with the initial schedule. Production will start in the first quarter of 2015, first of all to deliver early non-standard turbines, including 5 intended for the Block Island wind farm in the United States, which are expected to be commissioned in 2016 and represent France’s first export contract in the offshore wind energy sector, as well as being the first offshore project in the United States.
The plants in Saint-Nazaire will also be assembling the 238 offshore turbines that are planned to equip the three facilities installed by EDF, the exclusive partner of Alstom on the French market, in Saint-Nazaire, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Fécamp starting in 2017.
This Haliade™ 150-6MW wind turbine is designed for a marine setting. Thanks to a rotor exceeding 150 metres in diameter, the turbine’s yield is 15% higher than that of other same-generation wind turbines. With 6 MW of power, it is capable of supplying the equivalent of 5,000 households per annum and can save over 21,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
“The inauguration of the Saint-Nazaire facility represents a milestone in Alstom’s story and in the country’s own industrial history. These new plants are France’s first offshore wind turbine production factories. Thanks to them, we shall now be in a position to serve the French market as well as to meet a growing international demand,” said Alstom Chairman and Managing Director Patrick Kron.