1950-1955 : The prototypes
The choice of the site
EDF or BEST photographs
Access to the site
Establishment of the site
The team
Design features
The wind turbine commented
Sights on the wind turbine
Close-ups on the wind turbine
The measuring station
Tilting the wind turbine
1959: Record of production
Disassembling the generator
Some figures
1966: the scraping
What is left of the wind turbine?
Great power wind turbines
Where are the archives?
Lucien Romani
L. Romani & l'O.N.E.R.A.
Rauline Report and the N.A.S.A.
French wind links
Legal notice
Site map
Who am I?

Although Pierre Ailleret (1900-1996), Polytechnician and Directeur des Etudes et de la Recherche at EDF from 1948 to 1958 (Place des Etats-Unis in Paris) and André Argand (a graduate of the Ecole Centrale), Head of its Wind Energy Division from 1948 to 1966 (also on rue Hamelin in Paris) constantly ensured that research on wind energy and the Nogent-le-Roi experiment remained discreet, the press could not pass over such a conspicuous machine erected on the Thymerais plain.

Several press articles have been published on that wind turbine which has the advantage of setting precise dates. We have found some of them.

Article (extrait)
Thursday, September 12, 1957   L'Echo Républicain   Page 3, Column 3: "Close to Nogent-le-Roi, a station for the study of wind energy is being installed."
Thursday, October 3, 1957   La République du Centre  

Page 2 on 4 columns one can see two photographs of the wind turbine at the end of construction. The cranes of the Société des Monteurs-Levageurs companies are still present. These two pictures are the oldest I know.

Thursday, November 21, 1957   La République du Centre  

Page 4, a block of twenty lines indicates that the previous day (November 20, 1957), in the morning, "the enormous engine has been in operating position" indicating that the wind turbine is close to being completely upright for the first time.

Friday, February 15, 1958   Le Parisien Libéré  

On the front, a picture of the vertical wind turbine unshrouded and partly tarpaulin is titled "What is this strange machine?". Page 5, Article 3 columns demonstrated optimism: "A giant wind turbine can produce electricity for the whole region" (sic).

Saturday, February 21, 1958   Le Figaro Littéraire (sic)  

Subtitle: "And the World's largest wind turbine has been born in Eure-et-Loir". An article, by Fernand Lot of 5 columns, page 11. A photo shows the nacelle of the turbine part tarpaulin for final refit.

May 1958   Contacts N° 11  

The only known article published by an official organ of EDF (Communication Department). Pages 5-9 in a story by Maurice Roche and Michel Brigaud. You can see a picture of the particular configuration "Y" which is highlighted on this site and the plaque at the entrance to the "Docking studies of wind energy".

Monday, September 29, 1958   La République du Centre  

Reads "Since Tuesday [September 23, 1958], the wind turbine [...] stands in the sky of Nogent-le-Roi." The photos show the wind turbine fairing. The implementation is therefore final. Page 2 of 2 columns. The journal-title to the front on the outcome of the constitutional referendum of 1958.

Friday, October 3, 1958   L'Echo Républicain  

An article mentions that "The wind turbine [...] will enter service in the coming days". But the photos, taken much earlier, show the wind turbine being completed. Page 4 of 3 columns.

Secondly, an article titled "Wind", the Quillet Dictionary in three volumes (edition 1963), is illustrated with two photographs. One shows a "wind wheel in Brazil" for pumping irrigation water, the other the « wind turbine generator of Nogent-le-Roi ».

Dictionnaire Pratique Quillet (1963)
(Cliquez sur l'image pour la voir à sa taille réelle).

Editions of the « Petit Larousse Illustré » of that era have similar articles.

The « Quid 2000 » indicates in the article « Wind Energy »: « France, Nogent-le-Roi (Eure-et-Loir), experimental wind turbine of 0.8 MW, 30.2 m propeller, worked from 1958 to 1962. ».

To be read:

Last update: May-17-2021 19h43 CEST

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