Linklaters advises the lenders on the financing of the first offshore wind farm in France

Linklaters advised the three underwriters (BNP Paribas, MUFG and Société Générale) on the financing of the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, the first offshore wind project to reach financial close in the French market. The c.€2 billion, 480 MW project, is being developed by EDF Renouvelables and Enbridge and is a first for the French renewable energy sector.

This asset is expected to reach commercial operations in 2022 and will be located 12 kilometres off the coast of Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique). It will comprise 80 GE Haliade turbines for a total installed capacity of 480MW and, according to EDF Renouvelables, should generate up to 20% of Loire-Atlantique’s electricity needs when it is commissioned.

The Saint-Nazaire wind farm is the first French offshore wind farm to clear all third-party challenges and reach final investment decision and financial close. Six other projects were awarded by the French government to date and should follow suit to financial close over the next few years (Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Saint-Brieuc, Le Tréport, Iles d’Yeu et de Noirmoutier and Dunkerke).

The Linklaters team was led by François April, Partner, seconded by Samuel Bordeleau, senior associate. The team also comprised Pauline Portos, Nathanael Caillard, Salimatou Kaba, Léa Prince Agbodjan and Aurore Imbabazi from the Paris Projects and Derivative and Structured Products departments, as well as Paul Lignières, Partner, and Marianna Frison-Roche for Public Law aspects. Nick Szmigin and Asha Joy, from the London Projects department, were involved on the industrial contracts and Pierre Zelenko, Partner, and Nicolas Zacharie, Counsel, were involved on State Aid aspects.

The Sponsors were advised on the financing by Clifford Chance Europe LLP and BCTG Avocats.