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France in offshore wind tendering boom

2022-12-07 Tamara Parkin

07122022 // saint-nazaire_wind_turbine_farm__credit_capa_corporate.jpg (51 K)

Photo Credit: CAPA Corporate

Following the successful launch of its first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in September 2022, France has launched tenders for two new offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 2.5 GW. 

The first wind farm is 35km off Oléron island in the Atlantic and will have a capacity of about 1 GW. The second wind farm is 38km off the coast of Normandy and will have a capacity of about 1.5 GW. Both projects will consist of bottom-fixed turbines, which means they are assembled on fixed foundations in shallow waters. 

The success of the commercial-scale farm located in St Nazaire, which first produced power in June 2022, has opened up opportunities for France’s offshore sector. The 480 MW farm was designed to power the energy demands of 700,000 people annually, which is a leap forward in reducing dependence on fossil fuels. 

The two new tenders come as a result of the French government's plans to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind, with commitments to build 18 GW of offshore wind by 2035 and 40 GW by 2050, spread across 50 wind farms. To reach this goal, France plans to organise auctions for a minimum of 2 GW of new offshore wind capacity each year beginning in 2025, which will double France’s current auctioning strategy of 1 GW a year. 

At the time of print, France has put 5.2 GW of offshore wind up for auction, 750 MW of which would be provided by floating wind farms. Developers can submit their initial applications by 23 December 2022 for these two new tenders, with projects being awarded at the end of 2023 or early 2024. 

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