French cables supplier Nexans has been selected by RTE France to supply and install offshore and onshore power export cables for the 496MW Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm.

For the contract, Nexans will supply 67km offshore and 93km onshore power export cables. To be located 16km off the coast in Saint Brieuc Bay in the English Channel, the offshore wind farm will generate enough electricity to meet the daily needs of more than 835,000 French homes.

French transmission system operator RTE will design, build and maintain the two 225kV links (submarine and land) to connect the offshore wind farm to the grid.

Being developed by the Ailes Marines Consortium, the Saint Brieuc wind farm is considered to be one of the largest offshore wind farms in France.

The Ailes Marines Consortium was awarded 500MW capacity transmission by the French Government.

RTE marine activities director Jean Michel Prost said: “This project will be the first offshore connection developed by Nexans for RTE. As such, RTE expects this project to be successful as well as to mark the beginning of a fruitful relationship.”

Scope of Nexans contract

Under the contract, Nexans will supply two lengths of 33.5km of 225kV 3-core cable with a hybrid armouring solution. The cable is also claimed to include a fibre optic element for remote health monitoring of the cable link and transmission of information between the offshore wind farm and land base.

Cable installation will be done by Nexans’ own cable-laying vessel, the CS Skagerrak, while the specialised Capjet system will be used to trench the cables into the seabed for protection.

The laying of the submarine cables is expected to begin in spring 2022.

The contract secured by Nexans also includes inspection, maintenance and repair services for the offshore part of the link.

Nexans offshore wind Europe business development director Laurent Guillaumin said: “We are delighted to be working with RTE to provide the grid connection for one of France’s most significant offshore wind projects. The key to this success was our long track record in this sector combined with our ability to offer innovative cable solutions.”