Press release

Ailes Marines restores the truth in the face of
false information about the
Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm

Lézardrieux / Saint-Brieuc / Paris – August 18, 2021 – Following numerous assertions and untruths relayed in recent weeks by various media, Ailes Marines would like to once again provide details and clarifications about the wind farm in Saint-Brieuc sea.

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The continuation of professional fishing activities within the park

Ailes Marines once again reminds that the project was designed in such a way as to allow the maintenance of fishing activities and navigation within the park (orientation of the wind turbine lines, spacing between the wind turbines, objective of burying the cables, …). The offshore wind farm occupies an area limited to 6% of the Gisement du Large (secondary deposit), or the equivalent of 1.5% of the scallop production of the entire Bay. The Prefecture of Côtes d'Armor has put in place clear governance through a management and monitoring committee chaired by the prefect of Côtes d'Armor to monitor the smooth running of the work and the monitoring measures undertaken.

The presence of coral

Concerning the supposed presence of coral, Ailes Marines also recalls that a study of the initial state of the site was carried out and integrated into the impact study carried out between 2012 and 2015. On the basis of existing scientific data, in particular public scientific inventories, the initial state of the site did not note the presence of coral in the 75 km2 installation area of ​​the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm.

This initial state of the site was judged by the Environmental Authority to be “quality” in its deliberations of May 2016. The initial state was carried out by SETEC IN VIVO, an independent design office specializing in oceanography and the environment.

Requesting and obtaining “protected species” exemptions

Ailes Marines recalls that in France, the destruction or disturbance of individuals of species (or their habitats) appearing on lists of protected species (established at national, regional and departmental level) is prohibited by the code of the environment.

environmental transparency and responsibility from the developer . Several conditions must be met for it to be granted, including the public interest, the absence of an alternative, maximum avoidance and ecological compensation commensurate with the impacts.

The main steps required to obtain the exemption are as follows:

1) Carry out an impact study (in the Avoid-Reduce-Compensate philosophy),

2) Apply for a “protected species” exemption with expert advice.

These requests are examined by the DREAL, the CNPN (National Council for the Protection of Nature) provides an advisory opinion and the Minister an assent.

The “protected species” exemption meets 3 main principles:

1) The absence of an alternative solution with less impact.

2) The destruction must respond to a compelling reason of major public interest, including of a social or economic nature.

3) The operations do not harm the conservation status of the species concerned (whether individuals, breeding sites or resting areas are affected). In return, it is requested to implement so-called compensatory measures.

The Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is the first offshore wind project in France to request and obtain exemptions.

These legally obtained “protected species” exemption requests concern 5 species of marine mammals and 54 species of birds. The file was examined by the DREAL and the opinion of the CNPN was requested following a presentation made to the Council in 2016. An assent from the Minister of the Environment on the CNPN file was obtained on 4 July 2016.

For more information :

→ The measures put in place

The impact study

Ailes Marines carried out the impact study of the project between 2012 and 2015, prior to submitting to the Côtes-d'Armor prefecture the administrative authorization application files necessary for the construction and operation of the wind farm. . These studies carried out as part of the impact study were able to provide the following answers:

They do not demonstrate the consequent modification of marine currents. foundations also allow the free circulation of water masses at the foot of the wind turbines.

They also do not demonstrate the creation of a magnetic field at the foot of the wind turbines nor the presence of vibrations powerful enough to alter both the marine environment and the ecosystem.

It is important to note that this impact study of the project carried out by the various design offices naturally integrates the in-depth analysis of the tidal conditions as well as the strength of the currents in the bay of Saint-Brieuc (which have elsewhere subsequently is the subject of digital modeling to study other aspects such as the diffusion of sounds or the turbidity of sea water).

The foundations of wind turbines

Ailes Marines will not carry out the massive concreting of the bay. The foundations of wind turbines are made of steel trellis (jacket). Sealing will be used, but in a very limited quantity and only to consolidate the grip of the piles on the 3 fixing points of the jacket foundations.

Maintenance of offshore wind farm blades

The blades of the wind turbines in the Saint-Brieuc park are inspected annually by drones. They do not require cleaning operations, strong winds and rain keep the tower and blades clean. Specific marine paints are also used to prevent impurities from depositing on the structure. The blades will therefore not be cleaned with fungicides deposited by helicopter . If maintenance interventions on the blades prove necessary, they will be carried out by rope access technicians authorized to intervene for this type of intervention.

Offshore wind farm production

In the case of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm, the load factor is estimated at 40% at full power.
However, the wind turbines turn as soon as the wind reaches 12 km/h, the park will therefore produce energy 90% of the time. For more information:
→ Production of the wind farm

The dismantling

The dismantling of the wind farm will be carried out at the end of the operating period, as well as restoration of the site. This is a regulatory obligation. As specified in the Maritime Public Domain Use Agreement signed with the State. A financial guarantee will be provided by Ailes Marines upon commissioning of the wind farm, to prevent any failure to fulfill this obligation.

The carbon footprint of the project

Compared to the French electricity mix, the carbon return time of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is 4 years and 5 months.
The carbon payback time is the time necessary for an installation, by replacing the electricity produced, to avoid the GHG emissions which were necessary for its manufacture, installation, maintenance and operation. dismantling. For more information:
→ CPDP carbon footprint

Saint-Brieuc and Landivisiau, two completely distinct projects

The Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm and the construction of the Landivisiau gas-fired combined cycle power plant are absolutely not linked . Electricity Transmission Network (RTE) constantly and very carefully forecasts electricity needs and adapts its means of production accordingly. In mainland France, the very good interconnection of networks makes it possible to properly distribute, on a national scale, the electricity produced according to needs.
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About Ailes Marines

Winner of a national call for projects with the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm project, AILES MARINES is in charge of the development, construction, installation and operation of the offshore wind farm. It is a simplified joint stock company (SAS), 100% owned by IBERDROLA.
The key figures of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind project:

  • 75 km2 of area
  • 62 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD 8 MW wind turbines
  • 496 MW of installed power
  • 1,820 GWh/year of production, i.e. the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants (heating included)

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