IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES. The gravity foundations of the Fécamp wind farm leave Le Havre three by three

It’s a show on its own. Saturday, July 30 began from the port of Le Havre, direction Fécamp, the conveying of the concrete bases on which the wind turbines of the future offshore park will come to rest.

Published: August 2, 2022 at 2:47 p.m.

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How immense they seemed, from the top of their 50 meters (between 48 and 54, precisely) these 71 gravity foundations cast and equipped on the site of the Bougainville quay in Le Havre, since the winter of 2021, with a view to being submerged for that wind turbines come to rest there of the future Fécamp offshore park. Immensity now quite relative once taken over by the installer ship Sleipnir, one of the largest crane ships in the world. Semi-submersible, it rests on eight columns (hence its name, that of the eight-legged horse ridden by Odin in Norse mythology), measures 220 meters long and 102m wide. Equipped with two cranes with a unit capacity of 10,000 tons, it is almost with ease that he handles these concrete bases, yet nearly 5,000 tons each.

The construction stages of the project in video

On Monday, August 1, in the evening, the installation of the very first foundation was completed. A removal followed by a ballasting operation about 13 kilometers off the coast of Fécamp. A maneuver so to speak invisible from the city of Newfoundland but which the people of Le Havre can, since Saturday, enjoy a ringside seat. At least the shifting, i.e. the first kilometers of this exceptional transport by barge of three foundations lasting nearly ten hours. A meticulous movement assisted within the perimeter of the port of Le Havre by a pilot boat and three Boluda tugs coming to the aid of two other larger tugs, from the Boskalis company (forming a consortium with Bouygues TP, Saipem) providing transport to the park where , upstream, the Rockpiper vessel of Boskalis deposited a bed of gravel on the sea floor to guarantee the flatness of the ground.

Instant to immortalize in Le Havre

And in Le Havre, there is no shortage of viewpoints. We will cite, among the most popular, the François 1er lock, in order to be at the foot of these concrete colossi, or on the Grand Quai. Again on Tuesday, August 2 in the morning, some were able to immortalize the moment when a second barge passed. And it will be the same for several weeks. Thus, depending on the climatic and navigation conditions, the transport of the 71 foundations should continue well into the fall.

While the 497MW electrical substation to collect electricity and redirect it to the mainland will also have been installed, the site should experience a break of several months. It is only in the course of 2023, probably once the winter has passed, that the installation of wind turbines, this time, should begin. The Fécamp wind farm, with an area of ​​60km², is the third under construction in France and the first in Normandy. The production envisaged by the 71 generators will cover the equivalent of the domestic electricity consumption of more than 770,000 people, ie more than 60% of the inhabitants of Seine-Maritime.

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Continue reading on this topic(s):

Electricity (production and distribution) Alternative energy France Seine-Maritime Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) FECAMP (Seine-Maritime)

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