Offshore Wind Farm: A power of 1GW for Normandy

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The French offshore wind farm still has a bright future. On Saturday, December 5, a press release from the Ministry of Ecological Transition made official the choice of the Normandy coast, off the Cotentin, for the construction of the region’s 4ᵉ offshore wind farm, the 8ᵉ in France. A project that mixes ecological ambitions and discord in the fishing world.

A wind farm beneficial to the Normandy region

On Sunday, December 6, a joint press release from various political actors in the region welcomed the Ministry’s decision with one voice. Hervé Morin, President of the region, Marc Lefèvre, President of the departmental council, David Margueritte, President of the Cotentin agglomeration community, and Benoît Arrivé, Mayor of Cherbourg (en Cotentin) thus declared:

“This decision is the choice of coherence, the port of Cherbourg being at this stage the first port of manufacture of offshore wind turbine blades (…). Finally, this decision is one of listening. The chosen area will finally be located more than 32 km from the coast, preserving the impact on the grandiose landscapes of the Val de Saire and limiting the impact on fishing activities.”

The construction of the wind farm worries local fishermen

Local fishermen do not seem to share the opinion of their leaders. A public debate was held in the summer of 2019 to discuss the creation of the region’s 4ᵉ offshore wind farm, but the primary focus of the debate appears to have been to agree on the location. On January 24, 2020, at the end of a new meeting, the regional fisheries committee denounced “this false consultation” and fiercely opposed it. On November 24, Dimitri Rogoff, President of the Regional Fisheries Committee of Normandy, reaffirmed this position:

“In Dieppe and Le Tréport, the fishermen are the first victims of this policy.

“Environmental and fisheries impact studies will be organized and we look forward to that,” the press release from the regional representatives added. It is not certain that they are enough to ease the concerns of local fishermen.

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