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Development and construction

Since Atalante was created in 2011, the company has successfully led the development and construction of five wind farms with a total capacity of 90 MW. We are continuing to build up a portfolio of projects that we're seeking to reinforce through acquisitions and co-development partnerships.

There are various stages in the development of a wind farm, from identifying the site to the first turn of the blades, and it takes 8 - 10 years of hard work before a wind farm becomes operational.

Many studies are carried out requiring experts in different fields (environmentalists, surveyors, acousticians, landscapers, electricians, civil engineers, etc.). We also consider it extremely important to disseminate information and consult with local stakeholders, decision-makers, residents and the public whilst this is underway.

These stages enable us to acquire the numerous administrative permits required to construct and operate a wind farm. Throughout the life cycle of the project, Atalante Energies makes sure that all assessments and procedures are carried out in accordance with the established quality and safety standards.

Site identification

The first stage in the development of a wind farm is pre-selection of the site. It must be sufficiently windy, a minimum of 500 metres away from residential areas and easy to connect to the power grid; also to be taken into account are any technical or environmental constraints and rights of way (civil or military aviation, radar, nature reserves, landscape or architectural heritage, etc.).

Consultation

Our wind projects are carried out in consultation with residents, local associations, municipalities, local authorities, government services and public authorities. We provide regular information and hold numerous public meetings to give people a better understanding of the life cycle of a wind project.

Environmental analysis

After obtaining in-principle approval from local elected officials to install wind turbines in their territory, the required assessments are done prior to setting up an impact study; this is a key stage to ensure the selected site is suitable and to determine the precise location of each wind turbine.

The environmental assessment reviews the initial condition of the proposed site. All environmental aspects are analysed minutely to ensure the wind farm will integrate well, and to assess and minimise its impact.

• Physical environment: topography, geology, hydrography, natural hazards, climatology, etc.
• Biological environment: natural habitats and flora, mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians, waterways and wetlands, etc.
• Human environment: housing, industry and crafts, agriculture, urban planning, quality of life (acoustics).
• Cultural and archaeological heritage, tourism and recreational areas.
• Landscape concerns: history, culture, relief, vegetation, buildings.

This essential stage is reflected in the reference document for the project, which is used for the various consultations and requests for environmental authorisation. A risk assessment is also carried out as part of the ICPE regulations (Classified Installation for Protection of the Environment).

Authorisation and legal documents

Public authorities, government services including the DREAL (Regional Directorate for the Environment, Planning and Housing), the SDAP (Departmental Architecture and Heritage Service), the DDT (Departmental Directorate of Territories), the army, communities and agents all give their opinions on the application for the environmental permit required to build and operate a wind farm.

The file is submitted to a public enquiry as part of the official investigation. At this stage the files are made available for the public to consult and put forward their opinions on the project. Neighbouring communities are also consulted. At the same time, electricity grid operators ENEDIS, RTE and other public companies are approached with a view to connecting the proposed wind farm to the existing electricity network.

Construction

Once the administrative authorisations are obtained, construction of the wind farm can begin. This step takes on average 18 to 36 months to complete and requires seamless logistics and coordination. It comprises:

• Implementation surveys
• Calls for tender
• The establishment of construction site insurance, technical inspections, health and safety, network connections and electricity sales contracts
• Excavation and roadworks
• Civil engineering works
• Electrical works
• Delivery and assembly of wind turbines
• Testing and commissioning of the wind farm

 

 

Performance monitoring

Managing the performance of wind farms is our core business. Since it was created in 2011, Atalante Energies has elected to employ an integrated technical team through its subsidiary, Atalante Services, to guarantee high levels of operational excellence and compliance with safety regulations by all on-site personnel.

Our teams are always located within an hour and a half of the wind farms so they can respond quickly when needed, and carry out regular quality monitoring (weekly on-site inspections) to guarantee the continuity of the facilities. This anchoring in the local area also enables us to maintain contact with local residents and stakeholders and respond to their requests.

The installations are monitored remotely 24 hours a day in conjunction with specialist maintenance partners. Our teams continuously monitor and analyse the performance of the installations and set up optimisation solutions in terms of the production, maintenance and service life of the equipment.

 
 
 
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