The European Commission has found that four French projects promoting electricity generation from floating offshore wind are in line with EU state aid rules.
The Commission approved French plans to support four demonstration floating windfarms: the Groix Belle Ile project will be installed in the Atlantic Ocean and the three other projects, Golfe du Lion, Eolmed, and Provence Grand Large, will be in the Mediterranean.
In making its decision to, the Commission said the aid measures will contribute to reaching EU energy and climate goals without unduly distorting competition in the single market.
The demonstration floating windfarms will each be composed of three to four turbines and will each have a total installed capacity of 24 MW.
Each of the four demonstration windfarms will use a particular combination of turbine, floater and cables. The objective of public support is to test these different technological solutions, with the long-term goal of testing it before deploying it at scale.
The demonstration windfarms will receive investment aid and operating aid. Part of the investment aid will be paid in the form of repayable advances.
The Commission assessed the measures under EU State aid rules, in particular its Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy. The Commission found that the French projects will promote the development of a new type of offshore wind energy and the potential growth of a novel renewable energy technology; and that the level of aid granted to the four projects is proportionate and will avoid overcompensation for the beneficiaries of the public support, in line with the requirements of the guidelines.
On this basis, the Commission concluded that the four projects will promote the use of electricity generated from renewable sources and will help France meet its climate targets, without unduly distorting competition.