French authorities refuse to release details of bidders for 500 MW offshore tender

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No details are being released on the number of bids or volume of megawatts submitted in response to the French government's call for tenders for 500 MW of offshore wind farms, which closed on August 13. The extreme secrecy being exercised by regulatory body the Commission de Régulation de l'Electricité (CRE) is already being questioned by industry members. André Antolini of the Renewable Energy Syndicate (SER) says he is concerned about the "lack of transparency regarding a public tender process and involving public money." SER, he says, will be pressing the government to release basic, non-confidential information, such as the number of bids received and the total power capacity involved. For its part, CER says that according to government regulations, bids will be opened behind closed doors. Antolini has already criticised the terms of the tender for giving greater weight to price than to the technical and financial ability of a company to complete a project or the degree of "local acceptance" of a project. It is believed that a number of bids have been received from several consortia. After evaluation by CRE, the winning bids will be announced by industry minister Patrick Devedjian in February 2005 at the latest.

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