Natural Power, the UK expert with a home port in Nantes

29 Jul 2015

The Scottish group Natural Power is a global pioneer in the marine renewable energies. Their expertise in surveys, audits and project management is made readily available to local companies through its Nantes office, opened in 2010. An interview with Thierry Ripoche, the CEO of Natural Power France.

What is Natural Power’s expertise, and how is it made available to local firms?

Natural Power offers consulting support for project contracting throughout the value chain of the marine renewable energies. From the initial surveys, advice on tendering, the supervision of manufacture and construction, to the eventual operation of the wind farms, we are there to advise. We also perform due diligence and audits for investors. Our group has 340 collaborators, including twenty on three sites in France, in Paris, Strasbourg, and Nantes. The Nantes office houses five specialists in the construction of wind farms. We are capitalizing on our UK experience and the synergies at the heart of the international group in order to make this expertise available in the French language.

Who has the group worked for, both in France and internationally?

At the level of the international group, Natural Power has audited 40 GW of on and offshore generation, which is more than four times more than the total wind capacity installed in France. In addition our surveys have led to 3.3 GW of capacity, we have constructed 1.2 GW of wind farms, and we are responsible for the operation and maintenance of 3 GW. Much of our involvement must be guarded in commercial confidence, but I can say that we are currently consulting on the contracting process for the Paimpol tidal turbine project on behalf of EDF-DPIH, and on construction projects for new wind farms starting this summer.

Why did you choose Nantes to set up your third French office?

The dynamics of the marine renewable energies in Pays de la Loire are really interesting. There is a strong political will to make it happen, big customers, high quality players in research and training, numerous professional networks, and more and more sub-contractors. Nantes is a city with a high quality of life for all generations, and we’ve certainly had no problem recruiting high quality candidates to come and work here. Our Paris office is our shop window, but it’s the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire axis that we see as the focus for future growth. The region is about to become the wind turbine hub of France, and we are congratulating ourselves on our foresight in establishing ourselves here six years ago.

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