EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN), the renewables arm of state utility EDF, ended 2008 on a high with the commissioning of two major wind plant. At 87 MW, the Salles-Curan plant in the Aveyron département of south-west France, takes over as the country's largest wind farm. Electricity from the 29 Vestas 3 MW machines will meet the annual demand of over 100,000 people, nearly 40% of the population of the département. Earlier in December, EDF EN also completed its 52 MW Chemin d'Ablis plant in the flat, windy Beauce region south-west of Paris. Here, 26 Repower 2 MW turbines stand in a line stretching 17 kilometres alongside the A10 motorway from Paris to Orléans. Chemin d'Ablis is the first of the projects selected under the French government's 2004 tender call for 500 MW of onshore wind energy and is also France's first to be connected directly to ultra high tension transmission lines. It was completed in just three years from when the siting permit was issued in October 2005, which is comparatively speedy in France. Hooking up the two plant brings EDF EN's total wind capacity in France to 345.3 MW, of which 190 MW came online last year.
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