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Alice Young
Alice Young

Record oil prices turn investors to wind power

Five French wind farm projects, totalling 77MW capacity came online in February 2008. Project France phase-2 was a €115 million project constructing a total of 42 turbines. This challenge was undertaken as a joint venture by EOLE-RES S.A, a French wind park developer, and Renewable Energy Systems of the UK.

Mott MacDonald Ltd, a well renowned Global engineering consultancy, was appointed as Lenders and Owners Engineer for the project, which spanned three regions of France. In charge of due diligence as well as Owners' engineer work for the project, Mott MacDonald was also present throughout the construction phase. Ron Donnelly of Mott MacDonald explained the increase in wind farm developments recently was "due to high oil prices there is more motivation for people to try to meet the low carbon agenda…investments in wind farms are becoming much more popular."

The project consisted of five sites. In Houndelaincourt and Bonnet Sud, both situated in Lorraine, a total of 18 Vestas 2MW turbines were erected by October 2007. In the same month, 9 more turbines were complete, this time in Murat, Midi-Pyrénées, where Siemens 1.3MW were used instead of the Vestas turbines.

The final sites were situated in Montbéliard and Lomont, part of Franche-Comté, which saw another 15 Vestas 2MW erected. These farms were the last stages of the project and the final take over certificate was issued by 14 February 2008, allowing the turbines to come online. Nigel Deane, from Mott MacDonald, carried out construction inspections for the project. He said: "As the Owners' engineer for these wind farms it was a challenging job, involving a large amount of site work. However, to be involved in such a highly technical project was thoroughly enjoyable and a valuable experience."

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