The ÉOLE Project

The ÉOLE Project

Able to draw on its skills and experience in relation to fixed-foundation wind turbines with the Saint Nazaire offshore wind farm, Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port is looking to rethink the place of renewable energy sources in its economic model, and to support the policies of ecological and energy transition.

In order to meet the XXL requirements for the large-scale deployment of floating wind turbines, Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port has identified offshore wind power as an essential growth driver in its future development. With the ÉOLE project, Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port aims to place at the disposal of the offshore sector a dedicated industrial integration base for fixed-foundation and floating wind turbines.

The ÉOLE Project : a Key Asset in the Deployment of Floating Wind Power Generation projet EOLE 

 In the face of global warming, a new energy mix will have to be permanently established by 2050, incorporating notably offshore wind power generation on a larger scale. At a national level, plans are being discussed for the installation of an offshore wind farm generating approximately 40 GW. The Northern Atlantic Arc is the location that is most conducive to its deployment, with an exploitable potential of at least 20 to 30 GW, eventually representing a total of some 1 500 wind turbines. That will be made possible thanks in great part to floating wind turbines, which can be used to seek out more reliable winds further offshore, and to limit visual environment-related impacts and conflicts of use. 

The massive development of floating wind power generation is going to require very specific port infrastructures. With wind turbines measuring over 300 metres in height, on floats that have horizontal footprints of around 100 metres, and a narrow annual installation window (approximately 6 months when the weather is favourable), the rates of production will be very high and will therefore necessitate the optimal mobilization of port capacity by seaboard.

Drawing on its experience on the construction of France’s first ever offshore wind farm and on its close links with the sector’s industrial players, Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port is now involved in the development of large-dimension, high-capacity floating wind turbines.

Via the ÉOLE project, Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port is seeking to redimension the existing infrastructure ‒ the pre-assembly facility in Saint Nazaire ‒ as an integration base for floating wind power, so as to meet the requirements of the sector’s industrial firms. The rate of production, the positioning in relation to the future locations of the wind farm facilities, the load-bearing capacity and the versatility of the quays constitute the performance criteria that are essential in order for this activity to function properly.


  • + More than 700 m of reinforced quay at more than 30 tonnes per m²
    12 to 14 m draught, depending on the technology
    + more than 300 m of air draught
    XXL equipment to handle packages weighing several thousand tonnes
    a beaching station for floats
    the capacity to receive new generation jack-up vessels

ÉOLE News Update

Studies Now Launched

The geotechnical studies are being carried out onshore to begin with, then offshore utilizing the jack-up rig OMER. The studies involve core sampling the soil to evaluate its composition. This phase is essential in order to identify the characteristics of the site and to draw up an initial assessment that can be used to inform the thinking regarding the geometry of the ÉOLE project’s structural elements, the characteristics of the foundations, and the methodologies and volumes of work to be considered.

A Project Supported at Local, National and European Level

The ÉOLE project is an integral part of Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port’s 2021-2026 strategic plan, and more particularly in terms of the aim of delivering successful energy and ecological transition. The Supervisory Board of Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port has therefore given the go-ahead to the studies that are necessary for the project’s design.

The European Commission is contributing to the financing of the studies concerned within the framework of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme and ADEME, as part of the France 2030 study program.. Furthermore, the studies relating to the development of a dedicated infrastructure for floating wind power in Saint Nazaire are included in the Central Government − Pays de la Loire Regional Authority Planning Agreement.