Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola, through its subsidiary Ailes Marines, has completed and started operations at its 496MW Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm project.

The offshore wind farm project is located off the coast of Brittany and is equipped with 62 turbines with 8MW capacity, the most powerful turbines ever installed on a French wind farm.

With the commissioning, Saint-Brieuc has become the second fully operational offshore wind farm in France and the first in Brittany.

The offshore wind farm is expected to produce around 1,820GWh annually, adequate to supply energy to 835,000 people, around 9% of Brittany’s total electricity consumption.

The entire production from the Saint-Brieuc wind project is currently being fed into the national electricity grid, managed by Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE).

Iberdrola France offshore wind energy director Stéphane-Alain Riou said: “The challenge for us, as a European leader in renewables, was to create the foundations of a sustainable industrial sector for French offshore wind power.

We have worked hard to involve local companies in this project by supporting them in training to develop their skills and expertise in this fast-growing segment.”

The development of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm was started in April 2012, with an estimated investment of €2.4bn, 100% of which was financed by Iberdrola.

Iberdrola said that the development and construction of the wind farm created more than 1700 jobs in France, including more than 500 jobs in Brittany.

Navantia Windar partly built and assembled the components of the jacket foundation, while Haizea Breizh assembled electrical equipment for the wind turbines, both on the Brest polder.

The wind turbines for the Saint-Brieuc wind farm were manufactured locally, at the new industrial site of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, in the port of Le Havre, France.

Saint-Brieuc becomes Iberdrola’s fourth offshore wind farm, after 389MW West of Duddon Sands, 350MW Wikinger and 714MW East Anglia One projects.

Iberdrola has also started construction on 476MW Baltic Eagle in Germany, 1.4GW East Anglia 3 in the UK and 806MW Vineyard Wind 1, a large-scale offshore wind farm in the US.

Iberdrola France director Emmanuel Rollin said: “We are particularly proud today to announce the full commissioning of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm, twelve years after being named the winner and three years after the start of installation work.

“I would like to thank all the stakeholders in the region who have supported us over the years, as well as the teams at Iberdrola and our suppliers, who have been involved since 2012 in the realisation of this major industrial project.”