Offshore battle begins over 702 MW proposal

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After the rejection by the French authorities of its 702 MW offshore project, because it was planned for a site that includes an World War II minefield, La Compagnie du Vent, one of the country's leading developers and owner-operators of wind power, has mounted a two pronged attack. First, it is taking the case to court on the grounds that, by blocking development in the area with the country's best offshore wind resource, the decision contravenes "France's national, European and international commitments to develop renewable energies." Second, it has resubmitted a slightly amended project for approval, reducing the number of turbines from 156, 4.5 MW units to 141, 5 MW machines, which means it will occupy a slightly smaller area, and reorienting the footprint so that fewer turbines will be located in the minefield. La Compagnie du Vent's application has provided for mine clearance from the outset. The company, which is 50% owned by Spain's Acciona, says it envisages working in partnership with "a group" on the project given the scale of the financial and other resources that will be required.

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