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Turbines will create 10,000 jobs

The government says jobs and investment into the regions will result, as it awards projects to build offshore wind parks

NEARLY 10,000 jobs will be created by the building of France’s first off-shore wind farms, says the government.

The project also represents seven billion euros of investment into the regions where the turbines will be installed, the Energy Ministry has said. The regions concerned are Pays-de-la-Loire, Brittany and both Normandies.

Turbine factories will be built at Saint-Nazaire, Cherbourg and Le Havre.

An invitation to tender was put out last year relating to five sites, from Haute-Normandie to Loire-Atlantique.

Sites at Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer and Saint-Nazaire will be run by EDF and Alstom in partnership, while one at Saint-Brieuc has been awarded to the Spanish company Iberdrola. One at Tréport, for which GDF-Suez was the only firm to bid, has not been allocated as its proposal was deemed too costly.

There will be a further invitation to tender for this site, plus one at Noirmoutier and others in areas that have yet to be decided on.

The projects that have been allocated will generate a total 2,000 megawatts, however Energy Minister Eric Besson says France is on target for 6,000mw from wind turbines by 2020 once the second round sites are allocated.

The plan to install turbines off Courseulles-sur-Mer attracted controversy because it is near to the historic D-Day landing beaches at Arromanches.

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