French offshore windfarms awarded contracts under Round 1 and 2 in 2012 and 2014 will be built after all following a compromise agreement hammered out by the Macron administration.
French energy minister Nicolas Hulot tweeted that President Macron had agreed that all six offshore windfarms awarded contracts in Round 1 and 2 would go ahead, but with reduced tariffs.
The future of the projects had come under scrutiny after the steep fall in the cost of offshore wind energy and much lower tariffs awarded recently in other countries.
The projects were originally awarded tariffs of around €200/kWH. This has been reduced to approximately €150/kWh.
The projects in question are Courseulles-sur-Mer, St-Nazaire and Fécamp, which were awarded to a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles; and St-Brieuc, awarded to Iberdrola and Eole RES, which were awarded contracts in 2012 and Dieppe-Le Tréport and Les Iles d'Yeu et Noirmoutier, both awarded to a consortium led by Engie in 2014.
Wind industry association France Energie Eolienne (FEE) said it “welcomed this favourable outcome and the continued support of the French State for offshore wind after a period of uncertainty for the sector.”
“The industrial issues related to these first tenders were crucial,” said the FEE. It said that had the projects not gone ahead industrial plans to which companies had already committed themselves might not see the light of day and job creation would have been compromised.
FEE president Olivier Perot said he anticipated that final investment decisions for the long-delayed projects would be taken quickly, probably this year, with commissioning likely in 2021.
He noted that the French Parliament is currently debating measures to simplify the regulatory framework for offshore wind, measures it is hoped will speed up permitting for future projects.