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GE’s Grid Solutions to undertake offshore substation works in France [free access]

September 16, 2020

GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has been selected to provide the main electrical equipment for the Saint-Brieuc wind farm offshore substation. The 496 MW farm, located 16.3 km off Brittany in the northwest of France, is being developed by Spanish utility Iberdrola’s subsidiary—Ailes Marines. Once completed, the EUR2.5 billion wind farm will produce 1,820 GWh to meet the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants. 


As reported, GE’s Grid Solutions will be in charge of the design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning of the high-voltage electrical equipment, as well as the substation’s control and protection system. The company will design and manufacture the 72.5 kV and 225 kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) at its French plant in Aix-les-Bains. The substation’s control and protection system will be designed at its centre of excellence in Montpellier, France. Power transformers will be manufactured at its Gebze plant in Turkey.


According to GE’s Grid Solutions, the offshore substation will be positioned at the centre of the Saint-Brieuc wind farm, on a jacket-type foundation. It will house fully automated control systems, as well as all the equipment to ensure the reliable electrical connection between the wind turbines and the power grid on land. The substation’s commissioning tests will take place during 2022.


As of now, Ailes Marines has finalised the contracts for most of its first-tier suppliers for the components of the wind farm. In September 2019, Ailes Marines selected the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia to fabricate the foundations for the offshore wind farm. In May 2020, Ailes Marines contracted several suppliers, including Siemens Gamesa, for the supply of wind turbines in Le Havre, where the construction of its factory has just started. Ailes Marines also selected Italy’s Prysmian as the supplier of the submarine inter-array cables, and the Dutch Van Oord for the transport and the installation of the wind farm’s foundations. In July 2020, Ailes Marines selected Italian Saipem for the transport and installation of both the foundation and upper part of the electrical substation.


With the last of the supply contracts coming along, the project is progressing toward its construction phase. The pile and foundation installation works will start in early 2021. The installation works will last several months and will continue until 2022. The project is expected to be fully commissioned in 2023.