Offshore wind: GDF SUEZ, EDP Renewables, Neoen Marine and AREVA Commit to jobs and job training in the Pays-de-la-Loire region

Press Release

At a meeting today with economic and political stakeholders from France’s Pays-de-la-Loire and Brittany regions, GDF SUEZ, EDP Renewables, Neoen Marine and AREVA reconfirmed their ambitions to develop innovative, concerted and local environment-friendly projects at the sites of the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier (Pays-de-la-Loire – 500 MW) and Le Tréport (Haute-Normandie – 500 MW). This project can mobilize close to 6,000 direct and indirect jobs involving numerous local companies, and thus promote the emergence of a true French offshore wind energy industrial sector, that will generate new jobs training opportunities, and innovation.

A priority: job creation in the Pays-de-la-Loire region
In its response to the government’s request for proposals, the consortium’s goal is to contribute to the region’s economic dynamism and the creation of local jobs throughout all phases of its project.
With support from the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire and Vendée Chambers of Commerce and Industry, local governments, Néopolia and Vendée Expansion, the partners have met with over 150 local businesses in relation to the construction and installation of wind farm foundations and substations. The port of Saint-Nazaire will become the logistics center for the construction of the Yeu-Noirmoutier project. With this collaboration with SMEs and large local groups, the consortium intends to create significant sustainable jobs in the region.
The partners will install a project maintenance center at two sites in the Vendée region, a main base at Port-Joinville (on the island of Yeu) and an auxiliary base at Herbaudière (Noirmoutier). Five hundred jobs, including 130 direct positions, will thus be created over 25 years.

A commitment to training for job skill development
In conjunction with its project, the consortium signed eight agreements with the University Institutes of Technology of Saint-Nazaire, the Le Mans Adult Education Grouping, the Pays-de-la-Loire region employment center, the job center of Vendée, the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire and Vendée Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as well as employment agency for the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier. The training benchmarks have already been developed in collaboration with the region. A 400,000-hour job training program will be carried out.

An environment-friendly operating installation
In addition to a 40% reduction of wind turbines made possible by AREVA’s 8 MW turbine, consortium companies are looking to install turbines on jacket foundations at the two sites. These foundations are indeed more environment friendly as they allow for the free passage through them of ocean swells and fish. The consortium’s choice of these foundations confirms the exclusivity agreement signed at the end of 2012 between AREVA and STX France for the development of an optimized jacket foundation technical solution.