Jan De Nul’s offshore jack-up installation vessel Vole au vent has kicked off its mission on the Saint-Nazaire Wind Farm project in France. In total, the vessel will transport and install eighty units of 6 MW Wind Turbine Generators (WTG) for the construction of the very first offshore wind farm in French waters.

The wind farm will have a total capacity of 480 MW, which equals twenty per cent of the Loire-Atlantique’s electricity consumption needs. It will contribute to achieving the target of forty per cent renewable energy by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050 in France.

After five weeks of maintenance and project preparations in the port of Ostend in Belgium, the Vole au vent left for Saint-Nazaire, where it arrived on 31 March. From this marshalling harbour, the Vole au vent will load the 6 MW wind turbines and transport them offshore, for installation on top of the Banc de Guérande seabed formation in the northern part of the Bay of Biscay.

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One turbine a day

In sets of four, the turbines will be loaded on board of the Vole au vent and transported 12 km offshore, where the 1500-tonne main crane of the vessel will mount them on top of monopile foundations. The installation of one turbine takes approximately 24 hours, depending on the weather conditions, so each installation trip will take about five days. The very last turbine is scheduled to be mounted in Autumn 2022.

‘We are excited to contribute to the further development of renewable energy and offshore wind, in particular, in France,’ says Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group. ‘And we are especially proud to support the country in its energy transition by paving the way for the delivery of the first electricity produced by the very first French offshore wind farm.’

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