Siting permit granted for 87 MW project in southern France

EDF Energies Nouvelles, the dedicated renewables arm of state-run utility Electricité de France (EDF), has received a siting permit for what will be France's largest wind farm by far, an 87 MW, EUR 100 million project of 29, 3 MW turbines to be installed at Salles-Curan, in the Aveyron départment of southern France. A turbine supplier is being sought. The project was originally to be divided into eight groups of turbines to comply with the 12 MW limit on wind plant qualifying for standard offer contracts at fixed premium purchase prices. But with wind power development zones being introduced under the new energy law (Windpower Monthly, July 2005), it could become a single development. Despite its size, EDF Energies Nouvelles says the project is receiving strong support from local residents. Affected local authorities will receive EUR 500,000 a year, the governing département EUR 500,000 euros and the regional government EUR 150,000 euros in taxes once the turbines come online in 2007. In total, Energies Nouvelles has received siting permits for a total of 294 MW this year, including a 48 MW installation at Villesèque in the Aude département of Languedoc-Roussillon. Last month it got the go ahead for another project over 50 MW for which the details have yet to be announced.