The Vendée offshore wind farm, the energy from the sea
62 wind turbines for a major milestone for offshore wind development in France
It’s a major energy project and a tangible commitment to the success of the energy transition in France that will be implanted off the coast of Vendée.
The consortium Ocean Winds, Sumitomo Corporation, Banque des Territoires and Vendée Energie, as shareholders of the company “Eoliennes en Mer des îles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier” (EMYN), has announced the final investment decision for the Îles d’Yeu and Noirmoutier project, the fifth offshore wind farm to be commissioned in France.
The Yeu and Noirmoutier wind farm represents an investment of around €2.5 billion.
Winner in 2014 of the call for tenders launched by the French State in 2013, the project has been in development since then, implying a continuous dialogue with the Authorities, local elected officials, fisheries and sea users, socio-economic players, the contractors, the financing community and the general public.
Located off the coast of Vendée, at 11 km off the island of Yeu and 16 km off the island of Noirmoutier, the project involves the construction and installation of 62 wind turbines with a capacity of 8 MW each on 83km2 and will be ranked among France’s largest offshore wind farms.
With a total power of 496 MW, the park will have an average annual production capacity of 1,900GWh to supply nearly 800,000 people with electricity each year, more than the entire population of the Vendée.
The wind farm will be connected to the French mainland power grid via two submarine and land export power cable systems.
The construction phase, which will last 2.5 years, will create 1,600 direct jobs in France.
The start of the installation operations will be in 2024 and the wind farm is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2025, with an estimated lifespan of 25 years.
The EMYN wind farm represents a local solution that will contribute to the national energy supply and a tangible commitment to the success of the energy transition in France. With a large maritime area, France has the second largest offshore wind potential in Europe.
As offshore wind energy is an essential part of the global energy transition, it should enable France to achieve its objectives in terms of ecological transition, in particular by producing 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This energy also contributes to the diversification of the energy mix and makes it more resilient. Indeed, it offers many potentials: high productivity, a technology with low CO2 emissions and a competitive technology as offshore wind power is becoming less expensive, making it one of the most competitive renewable energy sources.
Societe Generale played a crucial role in the development and implementation of the financing of this strategic offshore wind project and accompanied the shareholders all along the project history from its early days till the successful signing of this complex project financing. Due to its leading position in the offshore wind industry and its accurate view of the market SG contributed significantly to the success of this project.
We are very proud to have accompanied some of our key clients on this strategic, long term journey, paving the way for their second offshore windfarm to be financed in the very next weeks!
Societe Generale acted as Sole Financial Advisor, Mandated Lead Arranger, Prehedge bank, Letter of Credit Issuing Bank and Account Bank, in the non-recourse financing to support the construction of the “Iles d'Yeu and Noirmoutier” offshore wind farm.
It is another key milestone in development of the French offshore wind sector, where Societe Generale acted as exclusive Financial Advisor since the very early phase when bidding during the tender process launched by the French Authorities in 2013.
Since then, Societe Generale accompanied its shareholders and the project during its phases including the negotiations with the various stakeholders, the derisking phase of the project, the assistance to the project during the procurement process, the development of the most optimal financial structure for the project and building up an early relationship between the project and the financing community and the conduct a wide debt and hedging raising process in order to secure the most competitive terms and conditions and secure the project’s funding
Finally, Societe Generale was instrumental in ensuring the project’s financing in a challenging context of rising financing costs across the industry.
This transaction is a perfect example of the bank’s long-standing expertise for innovation in energy infrastructure projects with strong advisory, technical and financing capabilities to support our clients in the energy transition.
Since early days, Societe Generale is highly committed to the development of the French offshore industry and today is an exceptional time with the signing of the financing for “Iles d'Yeu and Noirmoutier’’. We are grateful to the sponsors for taking us on this fascinating journey
We are delighted to support this landmark project from inception and reinforce Societe Generale leadership in the offshore wind sector