The wind farm will feature 83 GE Halide 150-6MW turbines. Image courtesy of GE.
Prysmian Group is providing cable connections for the 498MW Fecamp offshore wind farm off the coast of northern France. Image courtesy of Prysmian Group.

The Fecamp offshore wind farm is a 498MW wind farm located in the English Channel, off the coast of northern France.

The project is expected to generate sufficient electricity to meet the domestic requirements of more than 770,000 people. It is estimated to offset two million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 annually, through its operational life of approximately 25 years.

Eolien Maritime France (EMF), a consortium of EDF Renewables, Dong Energy, and WPD, is developing the wind farm with an estimated investment of €2bn ($2.23bn). The project is expected to commence operations in 2022.

Fecamp wind farm location and background

The Fecamp offshore wind farm will be located off the Alabaster coast in shallow waters of approximately 30m depth.

The offshore wind farm will extend over 67km² area and the turbines will be located off the Normandy coast, approximately 22km from the shore. The turbines will be placed 500m-1,000m apart.

The French Government granted the tender to construct and maintain the Fecamp offshore wind farm to the consortium of EDF Renewables, Dong Energy, and WPD in April 2012. The tender also included two more offshore wind projects – Calvados (450MW) and Saint Nazaire (480MW).

Enbridge acquired 50% stake in EMF in May 2016, while the remaining share held by EDF Renewables and WPD.

Fecamp offshore wind farm make-up

The Fecamp offshore wind farm will feature 83 General Electric Halide 160 6MW (Class I-B IEC-61400-1 / IEC-61400-3) wind turbines.

Each turbine will have a rotor diameter of 150m and a swept area of 17,860m². The tubular steel turbine tower will have a hub height of 100m, while each of the three light blades will measure 73.5m.

The turbines will be mounted on 1,800t, 90m-high Cranefree Gravity foundation supplied by Seatower. Built on the port of Le Havre, the foundation is a pre-stressed reinforced concrete structure topped by metal mast.

Turbine technology used at Fecamp

The Halide 160 6MW turbines are based on GE’s Pure Torque design, which includes a patented coupling system that avoids undesired load on the generator. The load will be diverted to the front frame rather than to the drive train thereby increasing reliability and minimizing the risk of gearbox failures.

The rotor will use the innovative direct-drive technology featuring a permanent magnet generator (PMG) system, which helps in increasing reliability while reducing the maintenance cost.

Power transmission from Fecamp offshore wind farm

Electricity produced by the wind turbines will be transported to a substation to be constructed by the consortium.

Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) proposes to construct a double bond at 225,000V network, comprising underwater and underground cables, for power transmission from the substation to the national grid.

From the shore, the underground cables will be connected to the existing 225,000V network at the Sainneville-sur-Seine substation. An area of approximately two hectares will be extended for the same. Network upgrades will be made to create a new 225,000V underground link between the Sainneville-sur-Seine and Pont-Sept substations.

Contractors involved

Prysmian is the supplier of submarine power cable links required for connecting the offshore wind farm to the mainland power grid. The contractual scope includes the design, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of two high-voltage (HV) export power cable links.

Eiffage constructed the demonstrator foundation for the wind farm, while MT Højgaard installed the foundation. Smulders group is responsible for the construction of the metal mast.