Ailes Marines re-establishes the truth against false information about the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm
Lézardrieux / Saint-Brieuc / Paris – August 18, 2021 – Following numerous affirmations and untruths relayed in recent weeks by media, Ailes Marines would like to provide once again details and clarifications about the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm.
The pursuit of professional fishing activities within the park
Ailes Marines once again reminds us that the project was designed in such a way as to allow the maintenance of fishing and navigation activities within the park (orientation of wind turbine lines, spacing between wind turbines, objective of burial of cables, ...). The offshore wind farm occupies an area limited to 6% on the Large deposit (secondary deposit), or the equivalent of 1.5% of the production of scallops in the entire Bay. The Côtes d ́Armor Prefecture has put in place clear governance through a management and monitoring committee chaired by the Côtes d ́Armor prefect to monitor the progress of the work and the follow-up measures undertaken.
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 identify the presence of coral in the 75 km2 area of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm.
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 French Code of the environment.
A request for a “protected species” exemption requires transparency and environmental responsibility on the part of the developer. Several conditions must be met for it to be granted, in particular the public interest, the absence of alternatives, maximum avoidance and ecological compensation up to the impact.
This initial state of the site was:
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) issues an advisory opinion and the Minister an assent.
The “protected species” exemption responds to 3 main principles:
1) The lack of a lower impact alternative.
2) The destruction must respond to an imperative reason of overriding public interest, including of a social or economic nature.
3) The operations do not affect the conservation status of the species concerned (whether affecting individuals, breeding sites or resting areas). In return, it is requested to implement so-called compensatory measures.
The Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is the first offshore wind farm 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 investigated 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.
The impact studies
Ailes Marines carried out the impact study of the project between 2012 and 2015, prior to the filing with the Côtes-d'Armor prefecture of the administrative authorizations required 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 sea currents. Jacket-type foundations also allow 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 wind turbines or 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 includes an in-depth analysis of the tidal conditions as well as the strength of the currents in the bay of Saint-Brieuc (which have elsewhere thereafter is the subject of numerical 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 proceed with the massive concreting of the bay. The foundations of wind turbines are made of steel trellises (jacket). Sealing will be well used, but in very limited quantity and only to consolidate the grip of the piles on the 3 fixing points of the jacket foundations.
Maintenance of the blades of the offshore wind farm
The blades of the Saint-Brieuc wind turbines are inspected annually by drones. They do not require cleaning operations, high 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 were necessary, they would be carried out by rope access technicians authorized to intervene for this type of intervention
The production of the offshore wind farm
In the case of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm, the load factor is estimated at 40% at full power. However, with the wind turbines turning as soon as the wind reaches 12 km / h, the park will therefore produce energy 90% of the time.
→ Wind farm production
The dismantling of the wind farm will be carried out at the end of the operating period, as well as a restoration of the site. This is a regulatory requirement. As specified in the Convention on the Use of the Public Maritime Domain signed with the State. A financial guarantee will be deposited by Ailes Marines when the wind farm is commissioned, to prevent any breach of this obligation
The carbon footprint of the project
Compared to the French electricity mix, the carbon return time for the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm is 4 years and 5 months. The carbon payback time is the time necessary for an installation, by substituting the electricity produced, to avoid the GHG emissions that were necessary for its manufacture, installation, maintenance, and dismantling.
→ CPDP carbon footprint
Saint-Brieuc and Landivisiau, two totally separate projects
About Ailes Marines
Key figures for the Baie de Saint-Brieuc offshore wind project:
- 75 km2 in area
- 62 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD 8 MW wind turbines
- 496 MW of installed capacity
- 1,820 GWh/year of production, i.e. the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants (including heating)