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France chooses bidders for 1GW offshore wind farm

Oil majors, green energy giants and investment firms are among six parties pre-qualified to bid for the project off the Normandy coast

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

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The French government has pre-selected six candidates to bid for a 1GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Normandy.

It will discuss project specifications in the coming months and expects to announce a winner in 2022.

The six bidders that have pre-qualified are:

  • Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie, a joint venture of EDF Renewables and Maple Power, which is itself a JV of Enbridge and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board;
  • Iberdrola Renewables France;
  • Ocean Winds, a JV of Engie and EDP Renewables;
  • Shell;
  • A consortium formed by Total and RWE;
  • And a consortium formed by Vattenfall, Wpd and Banque des Territoires.

The 1000MW Cotentin Cotentin (1000MW) Offshoreoff Normandy, France, Europe Click to see full details project off the Cotentin peninsula in the north-west of the country will be tendered under France’s multi-year energy plan, known as PPE, and is expected online in 2028.

French wind energy association FEE noted that Normandy is a major industrial hub for offshore wind. Siemens Gamesa has a nacelle and blades facility in Le Havre, while GE owns a blades plant in Cherbourg.

FEE president Nicolas Wolff said: “The number of successful candidates is testimony to the attractiveness of the French offshore market.

“We must now collectively maintain this momentum, and continue the efforts made, in particular by maintaining a sustained rate of calls for tenders, in accordance with the energy-climate ambitions voted by parliament.”

FEE reiterated calls for a second 1GW site to be tendered off Normandy. Industry players in the region had written to the government in October with the same demand.

France’s energy transition ministry launched the current tender in January following a public consultation, which 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.

Through its PPE, France aims to boost its offshore wind fleet to 5.2-6.2GW by 2028.

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