Wind Wire: Offshore setback

France's first offshore wind power project, the 105 MW Cote d'Albatre project, off the coast of the Seine-Maritime departement in the English Channel, has suffered yet another setback as the developers and owners, Germany's Enertrag and Prokon Nord, await a court ruling on three appeals contesting the siting permit, issued in September 2008 (Windpower Monthly, March 2009).

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Two of the appeals relate to the maritime concession and the third to the onshore grid connection, according to Enertrag France. The company had hoped to install the first of the 21 Multibrid 5 MW turbines next year, but this now looks unlikely as everything, including onshore works, is on hold. The uncertainty has also impacted the financing, as no backers are willing to close a deal until the issue is resolved. Enertrag France says that, while it would like to retain sole ownership with Prokon Nord, the credit squeeze means it may have to consider taking on a big industrial partner to help finance the project. In the meantime the company is not twiddling its thumbs, nor giving up on offshore projects. Enertrag France says it is developing two more projects of around 400 MW each off the Atlantic coast, though declines to give further details.


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