Possible problems ahead on first French tender

FRANCE: The consortia developing the four projects awarded in France's first offshore tender have completed the required detailed feasibility studies and submitted the results to the government.

Alstom's Haliade is set to be the majority turbine in France's offshore sector
Alstom's Haliade is set to be the majority turbine in France's offshore sector

However, there are reports this was not straightforward. According to the business daily, Les Echos, although the consortia have confirmed their bids they are "with reservations".

It raises the possibility of the consortia seeking to change certain parameters or even withdrawing their bids.

The bids submitted in 2011 were based on limited data, particularly concerning the seabed, geology and wind resource. Some observers now argue that tariffs of around EUR200/MWh are too low.

The consortia are said to be seeking ways to cut costs, notably by considering cheaper gravity-based foundations, instead of jackets at St-Brieuc and monopiles at St-Nazaire and Courseulles-sur-Mer.

Both Eolien Maritime France and Ailes Marines said they are sticking with their initial choice of foundations, while declining to comment on the other points made by Les Echos.

The government has until the 23 November to examine the results of the feasibility studies and decide whether to give its approval or ask for modifications.

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