A consortium led by EDF Renewables in partnership with Innogy and Enbridge has won the contract to build and operate the 600-MW Dunkirk offshore windfarm
Dunkirk is the fourth offshore wind project that the group has won, after winning three projects in 2012 at Saint-Nazaire, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-Mer.
The French Government said the EDF Renewables consortium won the Dunkirk tender with a bid “below €50/MWh (US$56/MWh).” The result of the tender was announced by French Environment Minister Francois de Rugy today (14 June 2019). The windfarm is due to be operational in 2026.
EDF Group chairman and chief executive Jean-Bernard Lévy said, “Our winning bid was highly competitive and this has prompted the government to double the offshore wind power targets.”
WindEurope said the result of the Dunkirk tender boosted the case for ambitious offshore wind volumes in France.
“The number of competitive bids is excellent news for the offshore wind outlook in France,” said WindEurope. “The wind industry is ready to deploy offshore cost-effectively in one of Europe’s top wind markets.”
Despite boasting one of Europe’s most promising coastlines for offshore wind, France’s multi-year energy plan had until now only modest offshore targets of 2.4 GW by 2023 and around 5 GW by 2028.
But the French Government announced its intention this week to tender 1 GW of offshore wind per year up to 2028. This would mean 6.5 GW of offshore installed by 2028 and 11.5 GW tendered: around 6% of French electricity consumption.
France initially launched offshore wind tender rounds for 3 GW of offshore wind in 2012 and 2014. But legal procedures against the projects slowed things down, and only now is the first of the projects (Saint-Nazaire, which received the green light from the French Conseil d’Etat last week) ready for final investment decision.
France’s first fixed-bottom offshore windfarms are expected to be connected to the grid in 2020-2022.
WindEurope chief executive Giles Dickson said, “Things are starting to look more positive for wind energy in France. It’s good the French Government has said on the back of the Dunkirk result that it will increase the volumes of new offshore wind in their energy plan to 1 GW a year.
“They should specify how much of this will be fixed-bottom and how much will be floating offshore wind. France was the only country in Europe to include a figure for floating wind in their draft National Energy Plan for 2030. They can increase that now and stake out their claim for industrial leadership in Europe on floating. Or maybe other countries will want a share of the jobs?”