• M.R.E.,
  • Sustainable development,

Floatgen, the first French offshore wind turbine, is being installed on Centrale Nantes' SEM-REV site

After two years of construction in Saint-Nazaire port, the floating wind turbine is now fully operational and will be towed and moored at the Centrale Nantes' offshore test site. SEM-REV, which is located 20 km off the coast from Le Croisic, is the first site French multi-technology offshore test site connected to the power grid. This project is supported by an original consortium bringing together a start-up - Ideol, a large group - Bouygues Construction and an engineering school and its research laboratories - Centrale Nantes.


on April 30, 2018

Three deep sea tugs were deployed during this delicate operation. Setting off late afternoon on Sunday 29th April, it took them about a day to transport the wind turbine to the SEM-REV test site. An additional three to four days will be required for docking and connection to the export cable, which connects the wind turbine to the power grid onshore.

Floatgen will be tested under real operating conditions for 2 years. During the testing phase, the electricity produced by the turbine will be injected into the French power grid and Floatgen will supply enough electricity to meet the needs of a city the size of Le Croisic.

Floatgen is one of the first floating wind turbines in the world, bursting with innovation and with many exceptional characteristics:

  • Its 5000-ton hollow concrete float not only significantly reduces its cost, but its specific geometry makes it extremely stable.
  • The six 220mm-diameter nylon anchor lines - used for the first time on a permanent anchor - will allow it to withstand the strongest storms in this area, 20km off the coast, where winds can reach 150km/hour and waves 14m in the winter.
  • It is connected to the French power grid via an underwater hub that allows up to three prototypes to be connected simultaneously. This hub is connected to an electrical station onshore via an 8Mw cable, which is buried under 2m of sand and sediment. Nautical activities (fishing, boating etc) are thus unaffected.
  • Finally, the general design of this floating foundation means that the turbine is suitable for a very wide range of sea depths, from the shallowest (about 35m) to the deepest.

This is a research project, with support from the European Union, which will lead, in the next few years, to the emergence of pilot and then commercial floating wind farms.

Published on April 30, 2018 Updated on May 3, 2018