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RWE Innogy commissions another wind farm in France

RWE Innogy commissions its new onshore wind farm Saint-Christophe-du-Bois/Le Longeron in France today, after one year's construction time. Located in north-western France, the wind farm boasts eight megawatts of installed power and can therefore generate more than 17.24 gigawatt-hours of electricity every year. The electricity generated here is sufficient for the annual needs of the equivalent of at least 4,850 households (1). This saves about 7,000 tons (2) of CO2 emissions. The volume of investment amounts to 11 million euros. The four wind turbines, made by Vestas, each output two megawatts, stand a maximum of 125 metres high, and feature rotors 90 metres in diameter.

"France is an stable market to us, for the operation of onshore wind energy in Europe. The reasons are its vast wind resources, excellent growth potential and secure regulatory framework. In the next few years, we want to start developing more wind farms in France," explains Roy Schwarzer, Wind Onshore Manager at RWE Innogy.

Saint-Christophe-du-Bois/Le Longeron is already the fourth wind farm opened by RWE Innogy in France. Combined with its wind farms at Tourville-la-Chapelle, Gouchaupré and Criel-sur-Mer in Normandy and 14 hydroelectric power plants, the company holds a portfolio producing about 81 megawatts in France.

To achieve the EU's target "20 percent renewables by 2020," the equivalent of 25,000 megawatts of wind generation must be installed in France by then. This includes 6,000 megawatts offshore. 4,425 megawatts of wind energy had been installed by the end of 2009 (3), and the figure should rise to 10,500 by 2012. The French wind power market offers a permanently regulated system of feed-in tariffs – an incentive to achieve these targets.

Commissioning Saint-Christophe-du-Bois/Le Longeron fits RWE's long-term strategy of "more growth, less CO2." This implies responsible use of natural resources and reduction of atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide. In the next few years, the company will invest further in energy generation from renewable sources.

1) This is based on the mean annual consumption of an average household of four people.
2) The converted 7,000 tons of saved CO2 emissions refer to the reference level in average for gas-fired power plants.
3) Source: The European Wind Energy Association: “Wind in Power – 2009 European statistics”, February 2010 edition.

Source : Communiqué RWE

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