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Development of the Dunkirk wind farm project and its grid connection moves ahead following public debates

  • EMR

Dunkirk, Monday, May 10th, 2021 _ Eoliennes en Mer de Dunkerque (EMD), the offshore wind farm project company, and RTE, the French electricity grid system operator which is connecting the project to the onshore power grid, have announced their decision to move forward with development phase of the wind energy project off the coast of Dunkirk. This decision was made after a series of public debates led by the CPDP, a commission set up to lead public debate, between September 14th and December 20th 2020.

The Dunkirk offshore wind farm project was awarded by the French government in June 2019 to the EMD consortium comprising EDF Renewables, Enbridge Éolien France S.à r.l., a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc., and RWE Renewables (previously innogy). The offshore wind project which will be up to 600 MW in capacity, will contribute towards the French objective of generating 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, bringing the French government closer to its energy transition objectives. By 2027, the wind farm is set to generate enough carbon-free electricity to cover the annual consumption of close to one million inhabitants, or one-third of the population in the Nord department of France.

In February 2021, the CPDP, which was appointed by the French national public debate agency, published its report on the debate and its recommendations for the developers of the Dunkirk offshore wind project. EMD, the lead developer for the offshore wind farm, and RTE, the lead developer for the wind farm’s grid connection, have carefully considered these findings and together reached the decision to move ahead with the project’s development phase.

The nine public debates were attended by 1,100 local participants. In addition, numerous contributions were submitted via the dedicated website, all of which helped to gauge expectations in the local area and identify areas of concern about the project.

Development of the offshore wind project will be supported by the following priorities:

  • Consultation with the local community and all French and Belgian stakeholders through all stages of the life of the wind farm, including permitting, construction and operations. This consultation will be based around five themes (biodiversity and environment, economy and employment, uses of the sea, professional fishermen and fisheries, and tourism) and will take the form of work groups, public meetings and a dedicated digital discussion platform.
  • Strengthening of measures to promote and protect biodiversity: an environmental impact study will be carried out with expert contributions from environmental protection organisations (GoN, Le Clipon, FNE) and the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Science. This will include the installation in the near future of a bird detection radar system in the Port of Dunkirk. The results of the impact studies and environmental measures will be made available to the public and the organisations.
  • Ensuring integration in the landscape: The location of the nearest wind turbines has been moved from 9 km to 11.4 km from the coastline communities east of Dunkirk, increasing the distance by over 25% from the location suggested in the tender submission. In the selection and installation of wind turbines, specific attention will be paid to their size.
  • Ensuring that the project is at the forefront of the Dunkirk area’s economic, industrial, maritime and tourist development.

During its construction phase, the Dunkirk offshore wind farm project will provide 850 direct jobs and more than three times as many indirect and related jobs. During the operational phase, around 50 direct, sustainable jobs will be created at the maintenance hub, which is planned for the Quai des Monitors in Dunkirk’s Grand Port Maritime.

The Dunkirk offshore wind farm project will be comprised of a maximum of 46 wind turbines in an area of less than 50 km². The site possesses strong and steady winds, and also suitable seabed, which will enable the generation of electricity at a cost-effective rate of €44 per MWh.

The electricity generated will be carried to RTE’s grid through a connector of between 20km and 25km linking an offshore connector, where the cables from EMD’s wind turbines will meet, to an onshore substation.

EMD and RTE plan to submit permit applications in the second half of 2021. A period of continuous consultation, under the auspices of a moderator appointed by the national public debates agency, will be established in the lead-up to a public inquiry expected in the second half of 2022.

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group’s Senior Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies and Chairman & CEO of EDF Renewables, declared: “EDF is fully committed to contributing the targets in the French government’s multi-annual programming for energy plan (PPE). As the leader in France’s offshore wind segment, holding four of the already seven projects awarded by the government, EDF supports the development in this technology which has many assets. Three of these projects are now under construction along the French coasts and mobilize many jobs. EMD’s dedicated teams for the project off the coast of Dunkirk are committed to working with local stakeholders and residents to make this economic, ecological and social project a showcase for the energy transition in the Dunkirk region, which combines energy efficiency with a diversified mix. The project is perfectly aligned with EDF’s CAP 2030 strategy of doubling its net installed capacity from 28 GW to 60 GW between 2015 and 2030.”.

Matthew Akman, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Power, Enbridge Inc., stated: “Enbridge is excited to participate in this next development phase of the Dunkirk offshore wind project. We have been active in the renewable power industry in France since 2016 and are pleased to extend our involvement with this project. We will continue to expand the renewable power business in a manner that aligns with our rigorous capital allocation approach. This growing part of our company also supports the transition to a lower-carbon economy and our industry leading ESG profile.”.

Xavier Piechaczyk, Chairman, RTE, added: “RTE is becoming a key player in the offshore wind sector. As a guarantor of the country’s energy stability, our role is to ensure that at any moment, as it is produced, low-carbon electricity can be delivered where it is needed. RTE has connected and supported 15 French offshore projects. To achieve this, we have worked as a developer that listens to local people, serves the needs of local areas and establishes its projects with the lightest possible footprint.”.

About EDF Renewables
EDF Renewables is a leading international player in renewable energies, with gross installed capacity of 13.8 GW worldwide. Its development is mainly focused on wind and solar photovoltaic power. EDF Renewables operates mostly in Europe and North America but is continuing to grow by moving into promising emerging regions such as Brazil, China, India, South Africa and the Middle East. The company has strong positions in offshore wind power, but also in other areas of the renewable energies industry such as energy storage. EDF Renewables develops, builds, operates and maintains renewable energies projects, both for itself and for third parties. EDF Renewables is the EDF Group subsidiary specialising in developing solar and wind power.
For more information, visit:
Follow us on LinkedIn: and on Twitter (@EDF_RE in French and @EDF_Renewables in English).

About Enbridge
Enbridge Inc. is a leading North American energy infrastructure company. We safely and reliably deliver the energy people need and want to fuel quality of life. Our core businesses include Liquids Pipelines, which transports approximately 25 percent of the crude oil produced in North America; Gas Transmission and Midstream, which transports approximately 20 percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.; Gas Distribution and Storage, which serves approximately 3.8 million retail customers in Ontario and Quebec; and Renewable Power Generation, which generates approximately 1,763 MW of net renewable power in North America and Europe. The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB.
For more information, visit

About RWE Renewables
RWE Renewables is one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies. With around 3,500 employees, the company has onshore and offshore wind farms, photovoltaic plants and battery storage facilities with a combined capacity of approximately 9 gigawatts. RWE Renewables is driving the expansion of renewable energy in more than 15 countries on four continents. From 2020 until 2022, RWE Renewables targets to invest €5 billion net in renewable energy and to grow its renewables portfolio to 13 gigawatts of net capacity. Beyond this, the company plans to further grow in wind and solar power. The focus is on the Americas, the core markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
For further information:

About RTE
RTE, “Réseau de Transport d’Électricité” (Electricity Transmission System), is the French transmission system operator. Its public service mission is to provide to all of its customers economical, reliable and clean access to electrical power. RTE connects its customers using an adapted network, providing them with targeted and valuable solutions for economic efficiency, respect for the environment and supply security. For this purpose, RTE manages, maintains and develops the high and extra-high voltage transmission grid. RTE is responsible for keeping the balance between supply and demand in a reliable and safe electricity system. RTE transmits electricity between suppliers (French and European) and users; industrial consumers directly connected to the transmission grid and distributors. With 105 660 km of 63 000 to 400 000 volt lines and 50 cross-border lines, the French grid is connected to 33 European countries providing electricity trading opportunities essential for economic optimisation of the electricity system. RTE has 9 000 employees.


  • EDF Renewables :
    Manon de Cassini-Hérail ▪ +33 (0)1 40 90 48 22 ▪ email:
  • Enbridge :
    Mandy Dinning ▪ email: media
  • RWE Renewables:
    Vera Bücker▪ +49 (0)201 5179 5112 email:
  • RTE :
    Anne-Sophie Pinon ▪ +33 (0)7 62 44 67 06 ▪ email:
    Anais Thevenet ▪ +33 (0)7 62 20 08 49 ▪ email: