France to auction '1GW offshore wind site'

The new project will be tendered under France’s multi-year energy plan, known as PPE

France will tender a site off the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy capable of supporting about 1GW of offshore wind capacity (pic: David Broad/wikimediacommons)

France plans to tender a site capable of supporting about 1GW of offshore wind capacity and to select its developer in 2022.

The energy transition ministry selected a site off the Cotentin peninsula in the north-west of the country following a public consultation.

The government added that the site, 32km from the shore in Normandy, has a “low level of fishing activity and limited biodiversity issues”.

Its choice of the new zone for the approximately 1000MW Centre Manche 1 project follows a public debate held between November 2019 and August 2020.

The consultation highlighted the importance of co-existence of uses at sea, including fishing, the need to control the environmental impacts of the wind farm, and the need for long-term visibility for local stakeholders, the government stated.

The minister for the sea, Annick Girardin, said: “This public debate has underlined how much the issue of planning the development of marine energies and more generally, uses of the sea, is now a priority.

“The development of offshore wind power is a major social project that cannot be decided in a Parisian office.”

The French government added that the future developer will have to study conditions for coexistence with the fishing industry.

France updated its multi-year energy plan in April 2020, through which it aims to boost its offshore wind fleet to 5.2-6.2GW by 2028.