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Hitachi Energy consortium sign a €4.5 billion contract for the construction of three offshore direct current platforms and three onshore converter stations for the Normandy (Centre Manche 1 & 2) and Oléron Island o

Hitachi Press Release.   This contract, of an unprecedented scale for RTE, marks an acceleration in the development of offshore farms and positions France among the few European nations building large offshore high voltage direct current converter stations.

These platforms, with a higher power (1250 MW) and a larger size than the alternating current ones, equipping the first French offshore wind farms, underscore the scale up needed in the production of offshore renewable electricity.

The new generation of offshore wind farms is more powerful and located further away from the coast, taking advantage of stronger and more favorable winds. In order to connect these offshore farms to the onshore electricity grid, it is necessary to use direct current, a technology capable of transporting electricity over very long distances. In Normandy and Oléron, the high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems by Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Hitachi Energy will enable the integration of more than 3.5 GW of renewable energy into the RTE network.

Following an international call for bids, RTE, the project owner of the connection of offshore wind farms, has selected the Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Hitachi Energy consortium to carry out the execution of offshore and onshore conversion stations for the future offshore wind farms in Normandy and Oléron.

With more than a dozen offshore platforms built for wind farms in France and throughout Europe, Chantiers de l'Atlantique is a leader in the manufacture, construction, integration and turnkey delivery of the largest maritime structures.

Hitachi Energy's expertise in HVDC technology is recognized globally and has been selected for the IFA2 and Bay of Biscay interconnections, between Great Britain and France as well as Spain and France.

With a total amount of €4.5 billion euro, this contract highlights RTE's industrial strategy and supply policy, which will be at the core of its future strategic network plan for the next 15 years. It demonstrates RTE's capacity, through its investments in the national electricity transmission network, to support employment and value creation in France and Europe. Almost all of the economic benefits from the construction of these platforms will thus take place in Europe, including almost half in France, particularly within Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the largest shipyard in Europe.

For the construction of the three offshore platforms to be built in Saint-Nazaire, Chantiers de l'Atlantique will double its production capacity for electrical platforms, investing nearly €100 million in this expansion. Especially, it will acquire Europe's largest paint cell, with a total area of 4,600m2, and capitalize on its state-of-the-art industrial facilities, including its slipway equipped with gantry cranes lifting up to 1,400 tons.

Together, the expertise of RTE and the Chantiers de l'Atlantique – Hitachi Energy consortium makes an essential contribution to offshore wind projects and the achievement of carbon neutrality in 2050.

 

"We're proud to continue our long-standing collaboration with RTE to help bring renewable power to the French grid. The multi-project business model enables us to focus on our core technology and reflects our strategy to secure clear visibility of the future and, based on this, we are already hiring to expand our global delivery capacity."

 

Niklas Persson
Managing Director
Grid Integration
Hitachi Energy

 

"Our core business, the construction of major maritime assemblies, and our know-how, constantly consolidated by our quest for progress, enable us to meet industrial challenges. Today, we are ready for the construction and installation of the DC platforms. This project of unprecedented scale is a major shift in the long history of our shipyard. We would like to thank RTE and Hitachi Energy for their trust."

 

Laurent Castaing
Managing Director
Chantiers de l'Atlantique

 

"The electricity transmission network is the backbone of the energy transition. On the road to carbon neutrality, significant investments will be made in the grid in the coming years. This contract is a major step forward, which reflects a real change of scale, especially for offshore wind power. I'm particularly pleased that this translates into the development of the manufacturing industry in France and Europe."

 

Xavier Piechaczyk
Chairman of the Management Board
RTE

 

Source: Hitachi Press Release

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