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EDF Group commissions France’s most powerful wind farm

Staff writer |
EDF Group is announcing the commissioning of the Ensemble Eolien Catalan wind farm, a 96 MW facility in the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées region.

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The wind farm is equipped with “stealth” wind turbines, the world’s first solution favouring the coexistence of wind farms and weather radars.

The large-scale wind farm was inaugurated today by Jean-Bernard Lévy, President and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Group, and Antoine Cahuzac, EDF’s Group Senior Executive Vice President in Renewable Energies and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Energies Nouvelles.

The Ensemble Eolien Catalan wind farm is located in the municipalities of Baixas, Calce, Pézilla-la-Rivière and Villeneuve-la-Rivière, Pyrénées-Orientales department.

Developed, built, commissioned and operated by EDF Energies Nouvelles, EDF Group subsidiary dedicated to renewable energy, the wind farm is comprised of 35 turbines, each with a unit capacity of 2-3 MW.

The 96 MW Ensemble Eolien Catalan facility is now France’s most powerful wind farm, ahead of Salles-Curan (87 MW), commissioned by EDF Energies Nouvelles in 2008.

Output is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 120,000 people, or 25% of the department’s population.

This high-tech facility is equipped with “stealth” wind turbines. This innovation, borrowed from the military stealth technology, is the result of a partnership between EDF Energies Nouvelles, Danish turbines manufacturer Vestas and QinetiQ, the international defence, security and technology company.

With a technology that sharply decreases the reflectivity of their components, the stealth wind turbines significantly reduce their footprint on the radars operated by Météo France, such as the one located close to the wind farm.

The wind farm will be operated and maintained by EDF EN Services, EDF Energies Nouvelles’ dedicated subsidiary.

With the commissioning of this new facility, the Group operates 51% of the wind power capacity located in the region and a total of over 1.1 GW across France.

In the meantime, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron urged state-controlled power utility Electricité de France SA to make the final investment decision to go ahead with a £18 billion ($24 billion) nuclear power project in the U.K. despite the country's vote to leave the European Union.

The construction of two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point in southwestern England has the backing of the U.K. and France, which has a majority stake in EDF, but is waiting for the nuclear-power utility's board to sign off on the project.

Hinkley Point would be beneficial for EDF, for the U.K. and for the French nuclear industry as a whole, Mr. Macron said on Tuesday.

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