EDF, WPD and Alstom link up for second French tender

FRANCE: Alstom, EDF and WPD have announced a consortium to target France's second offshore tender for two zones of around 500MW.

Alstom's Haliade 6MW turbine in testing
Alstom's Haliade 6MW turbine in testing

Two projects of up to 500MW each are being tendered at Le Tréport, in the English Channel, and near the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier in the Atlantic.

If the EDF consortium is successful it will use Alstom's 6MW Haliade turbine, which will be manufactured at two sites in Normandy.

The announcement follows the announcement by Dong Energy — a member of EDF's consortium for the first 3MW tender — that it would not bid for Le Tréport and Noirmoutier.

Other companies that could bid include Iberdrola, Eole-RES, Nass&Wind Offshore, GDF-Suez, Neoen and EDP Renewables.

Questions have been raised over the viability of the second tender. Jatin Sharma, head of offshore underwriting at renewable energy insurer GCube, warned that French developers' preference for domestic suppliers and site-specific safety issues could result in high costs.

Additionally, all six projects are closer to marine traffic than their German or British counterparts.

The Tréport project has faced opposition from the local population. Among the fiercest critics are local fishermen who fear the project's effect on fishing grounds. It featured in the first tender, with a capacity of 600-750MW, with GDF Suez the only bidder at the time. In the end, the government declared the proposed price too high and withdrew the zone.

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