WPD takes legal action over French offshore decision

FRANCE: German wind developer WPD has taken legal action over the results of the French tender for a 500MW offshore project to be sited near the islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu off the Vendée coast.

The project was one of two won by a GDF-led consortium in the second French offshore tender, announced earlier this month.

In a statement, WPD said: "On the basis of the public information shared during the tender phase, WPD challenges the technical and economical reliability of the offer submitted by its competitor (GDF-EDP-Areva)."

The objective of the legal action ("référé précontractuel") filed today in the administrative court is "to ensure, under the independent authority of the judge, that the analysis has been strictly assessed in the light of the tender specifications", the company said.

One moot point is the choice of foundation type (foundations accounting for 30% of project investment).

"WPD and its partners (EDF-Alstom) are the only consortium that completed a full geotechnical investigation campaign on site, vital to confirm the soil characteristics, which led to selecting a non-anchored foundation."

The other consortium (GDF-EDP-Areva) did not perform such an offshore investigation and selected an anchored foundation (jacket), "which is not compatible with the soil conditions and causes a significant risk on the project", it said.