Paris, March 19, 2012 — Alstom installed a large offshore wind turbine off the coast of France at Carnet in the Loire-Atlantique.
The 6 MW Haliade 150 wind turbine has been developed in response to a call for tenders launched by the French government in July 2011 that aims to install 3 GW of wind turbine power off French shores by 2015.
In preparation for its certification, the first Haliade 150 will undergo a series of year-long tests on land at the Carnet site, before a second turbine is placed in the sea off the Belgian coast in autumn 2012. Pre-series production is planned for 2013 with production in series due to start in 2014.
The Carnet site, located near Saint-Nazaire on the shores of the estuary, was chosen for its geological characteristics that are very similar to the submarine environment in which the wind turbines will eventually be installed.
The 25-meter sub-structure (known as the jacket) was installed on pillars driven more than 30 meters into the ground on which the 75-meter high tower was then gradually mounted. The nacelle soars over the landscape 100 meters above the ground. The wind turbine and its support structure have a total combined weight of 1,500 tons.
Alstom is the exclusive supplier to the consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles, which includes Dong Energy, as well as the developers Nass & Wind and wpd Offshore.
This project will involve nearly 200 suppliers to the offshore wind turbine sector.
If the consortium's response to the tender is successful, Alstom plans to establish up to 4 factories to produce components for these offshore wind turbines and for their assembly, in the port areas of Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) for the nacelles and alternators, and in Cherbourg (Manche) for the blades and towers.
These French sites will be dedicated entirely to offshore wind power and will permit the creation of 5,000 permanent qualified jobs, including 1,000 direct jobs.
To meet the challenges posed by the marine environment, Alstom has developed a 6 MW wind turbine which is simple, robust and efficient, to improve the competitiveness of offshore wind power.
Offshore testing will begin in autumn 2012, permitting testing of aspects of maintenance and connection under real operating conditions.