Scots firm in bid for French wind farm sites

THE Glasgow-based renewable energy division of Spanish utilities giant Iberdrola yesterday unveiled a joint venture with nuclear power plant builder Areva to bid for French offshore wind farm sites.

France's government wants to develop six giga-watts (GW) of wind power by 2020 and is currently inviting bids for the first five zones, providing 3GW.

Iberdrola and Areva said they will bid for two of the five areas, with industry sources suggesting that the joint venture would target the proposed 500 mega-watt (MW) site at Saint-Brieuc and a 750MW farm at Saint-Nazaire.

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Under the deal, Areva will be the sole supplier of turbines for Iberdrola Renewables' offshore wind developments.

Keith Anderson, chief executive of Iberdrola's global offshore division, said: "The announcement is further good news for the division based in Glasgow, as our management of projects relating to the Areva partnership will be led from here."

The deal comes just days after ScottishPower - which is also owned by Iberdrola - placed an order with German engineering firm Siemens for 108 turbines for its first offshore wind farm.

ScottishPower claims its 1.6 billion West of Duddon Sands development will generate 389MW - enough to power about 300,000 homes - when it comes on line in 2014.

Areva expects to have installed 120 offshore wind turbines globally by 2013. The French firm is better known for building nuclear power plants and mining uranium. It has 102 reactors built or under construction globally.