In the bay of Saint-Brieuc, “the wind farm has become a political space”

Can the offshore wind farm in the bay of Saint-Brieuc become a new Notre-Dame-des-Landes? The Breton site, which forms a funnel between Cap d’Erquy and Île de Bréhat, has in recent months been the scene of a growing and heterogeneous dispute, opposed to the construction of 62 offshore wind turbines off the bay.

Fishermen worried about the effects of these large masts on scallops, environmentalists concerned about biodiversity and local residents attached to their landscape, according to alliances of circumstance, are now making their voices heard and dreaming of bending the State, like the “red caps” in their time obtained the abandonment of the ecotax. The site ended up making its way onto the political agenda, so much so that several right-wing personalities made a stopover there this summer, while wind turbines are shaping up to be one of the main themes of the electoral campaign for the election. presidential election of 2022.

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Michel Barnier made the trip in June, Xavier Bertrand in July. On August 19, Valérie Pécresse came to meet the fishermen at the Saint-Quay-Portrieux auction. The right-wing primary candidate listened to them at length. “Ten years ago, there were no fishermen in this area, today there are, she commented after the meeting. The concerns of fishermen in the bay of Saint-Brieuc must be heard. “ The president of the Ile-de-France region says she is in favor of renewable energies “To free us from fossil fuels”, but, she asks, “Should we brace ourselves on a badly started project or re-evaluate it?” “

As tall as the Montparnasse tower

Offshore, 26 kilometers away, a giant ship standing on four feet, theAeolus, has already started its drilling, to install the foundations of the masts of the future wind turbines, which will be as high as the Montparnasse tower. The work, which began four months ago, is progressing slowly. The site operator, Ailes Marines, a subsidiary of the Spanish energy company Iberdrola, is having difficulty digging in the seabed of the bay. Far from the sandy soils where wind turbines are planted in the North Sea, the Breton site conceals veins of dolerite, an extremely hard igneous rock.

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Since the start of the work, two episodes of pollution have occurred, on June 14 and July 28 – hydraulic fluid leaks, used for drilling at sea. “Obviously the hardness of the ground was not taken into account, something inexplicable coming from the big world industrialists. How could we have made a technical error of this magnitude? “, says Mme Pécresse.

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