France’s Minister for Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Monday announced steps to accelerate offshore wind development in the country and unveiled the winner of a tender for a 1-GW project off the coast of Normandy.
The project, Centre Manche 1, was awarded to Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie, a company of EDF Renouvelables, a unit of French utility Electricite de France SA (EPA:EDF), and Maple Power, a UK-based offshore wind developer, which is a joint venture between Canada’s Enbridge and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). The project was awarded at a competitive price, which indicates the maturity of the offshore wind sector, according to the official announcement.
The move means France now has 4 GW of offshore wind projects under development. The Centre Manche 1 wind farm, or AO4, is expected to be commissioned in 2031.
In addition, the minister announced lists of selected parties who will participate in the competitive dialogue for two offshore wind projects, a scheme off the Oleron island in the Atlantic (AO7) and a second project off Normandy (AO8), of 1 GW and 1.5 GW, respectively. These projects will be allocated at the beginning of 2024 and are seen to come onstream in 2032.
The names for AO7 are Ocean Winds; a consortium of Corio Generation and Qair Eolien Pose Oleron; a consortium of EDF Renouvelables and Maple Power; RWE; Iberdrola; Oceole; Eni Plenitude; a consortium of TotalEnergies and Jera Power; and Skyborn-Cobra.
For AO8, the pre-selected bidders includeg an alliance formed by Vattenfall, Skyborn Renewables and Banque des Territoires; a consortium of EDF Renouvelables and Maple Power; Ocean Winds; a consortium of TotalEnergies and RWE; Iberdrola; a consortium of Corio Generation and Qair Eolien Pose Manche; and Eni Plenitude.
The government further advised of the upcoming publication of specifications for the 250-MW floating offshore wind project in southern Brittany (AO5), which is due to be allocated at the end of 2023.
France, which opened its first utility-scale offshore wind farm, the 480-MW Saint-Nazaire, last year, aims to install 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050.
In support of this target, Agnes Pannier-Runacher also launched a consultation on accelerating the competition procedures and on the methods of public support for offshore wind farms. This will run till June 12.
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