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France picks bidders for 250MW floating offshore wind

Green energy giants, oil majors and investment firms are among ten bidders shortlisted for projects off Brittany

Ideol's first Floatgen demonstrator in the Atlantic Ocean (pic credit: Ideol and V.Joncheray)
Ideol's first Floatgen demonstrator in the Atlantic Ocean (pic credit: Ideol and V.Joncheray)

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The French government has pre-selected ten candidates to bid for a 250MW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Brittany.

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

France also plans to tender another 500MW floating offshore wind farm off Brittany that would share a grid connection with the first 250MW project. It is yet to reveal details of the 500MW auction.

The first tender is due to be the world's first large-scale auction for floating offshore wind. Last year, Japan held a tender for a 16.8MW floating offshore wind farm off Nagasaki.

The ten bidders that have pre-qualified in Brittany are:

  • A consortium of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Eni;
  • Eoliennes Flottantes Bretagne Grand Large, a project company comprising EDF Renouvelables and Maple Power, which itself is a joint venture between Enbridge and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board;
  • A consortium of Elicio and BayWa;
  • Equinor;
  • Iberdrola;
  • Ocean Winds, a joint venture between Engie and EDP Renewables;
  • RWE;
  • A consortium formed by Shell, EnBW subsidiary Valeco and Eolien en Mer Participations, which is a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations;
  • A consortium of TotalEnergies, Green Investment Group and Qair; and
  • a consortium of Wpd, Vattenfall and BlueFloat Energy.

The two floating offshore wind projects off Brittany – France’s north-westernmost region – will be tendered under the country’s multi-year energy plan, known as PPE, and are expected online in 2029.

France is also due to tender two 250MW floating offshore wind projects in the Mediterranean next year. Earlier this year, it chose six bidders for a 1GW fixed-bottom foundation offshore wind farm off the coast of Normandy.

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

To date, it has just one operational 2MW offshore wind turbine, installed on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean. However, construction is underway on other projects using fixed-bottom foundations.

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