“It’s a horror! “: much more visible than expected, the first offshore wind farm in France ulcerates local residents and tourists
Almost complete, the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm construction site seems to be giving rise to much more visual pollution than expected.
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Posted on September 2, 2022 at 11:14 a.m.
The offshore wind farm, clearly visible from Saint-Nazaire. Photo © Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS/SIPA
Next December, the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm will be commissioned. A very first in France, which should allow more than 80 wind turbines to provide a total of 480 MW, or 20% of the total electricity consumption of the Loire-Atlantique. And, on top of that, a painless feat for local residents and tourists: the wind farm being located 12 kilometers from the shore, the visual pollution will not be that bad… At least that’s what the organizers promised. of the site, with a lot of 3D projections.
“I will not accept the destruction of our landscapes”: on the island of Oléron, wind turbines far from unanimous
In fact, the reality is quite different. The 55 wind turbines already installed are particularly visible, reports 20 Minutes : you can clearly see them from Saint-Nazaire, Noirmoutier, Belle-Île-en-Mer, Batz-sur-Mer or Le Croisic. Jewels of the Atlantic coast, which some now consider massacred. “We were assured that it would not change much in the landscape. There were rather reassuring synthetic images. Well, here is the result! It’s a horror, there are no other words ,” storms Philippe, a retired owner of a house in Batz.
Promises of discretion not kept
“That’s weird! I had been warned before coming, but I didn’t think we would see them so much, ” says Lucile, who comes every year on vacation to the region. “There are a lot more negative opinions than positive ones from my customers, it’s true that it spoils the view a bit” , tells 20 Minutes a restaurateur whose beach overlooks the wind turbines.
The opinion of the local public authorities is no different: “It is clear that those which were presented to us a few years ago as tiny pinheads, almost invisible very far offshore, are in fact very , too, visible from the coast” , says Marie-Catherine Lehuédé, mayor (SE) of Batz-sur-Mer. It must be said, note 20 Minutes , that offshore wind turbines are much larger than their terrestrial cousins: they are 180 meters high, compared to 120 meters on average on land.
Same topo at the town hall of Le Croisic: “The visual impact is still very strong. Significantly more than expected. Including at night with permanent lights. There is nothing wild about our wild coast anymore” , laments Michèle Quellard (DvD). The city councilor, however, is doing well against bad luck, emphasizing the ecological impact of the wind farm – which did not prevent him from asking the State for an increase in the financial compensation promised to the affected municipalities. For the inhabitants of Saint-Nazaire as for those of Fécamp (Seine-Maritime), Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor) or Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados), where parks will soon be installed, it will be necessary to be content with it.