The French Government has confirmed that six companies have been pre-selected to compete for the next round of offshore wind development in French waters
The Fourth Round of French offshore wind, in Manche est Mer du Nord in the Atlantic region of the country, known as the ‘Normandy Round,’ will see the six progress to the next phase of the project, a phase known as ‘competitive dialogue.’
In a statement, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition said the companies proceeding to the next round are Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie, comprising EDF, Enbridge and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; Iberdrola; Ocean Winds, the joint venture between Engie and EDPR; Shell; a consortium of Total and RWE; and a consortium of Vattenfall, wpd and Banque des Territoires.
The aim of the ‘competitive dialogue,’ which is now underway, is to drive down the cost of the projects and allow the companies in question to nuance their proposals. The winning bid for 900 MW to 1,050 MW of capacity off the Cotentin Peninsula will be unveiled in 2022. The windfarm is due to be fully commissioned by 2028.
Minister for the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili said, “Wind conditions and the seabed off Normandy are very favourable for offshore wind… and make it possible to produce a lot of energy, under competitive economic conditions.”
As highlighted by OWJ, the consultation process for France’s Fourth Round of offshore wind was completed in August 2020. A report summarising the consultation was published in mid-October.
Earlier in the process, industry bodies such as France Energie Eolienne suggested to the French Government that it should aim for a somewhat larger tender, in the range of 1-2 GW, to provide a significant boost to the green recovery.
At 10,000 km2, the Manche est Mer du Nord area is large enough to accommodate much more than 1 GW of offshore wind capacity, with several zones that could accommodate large-scale projects of the type being developed elsewhere in Europe. The area is also understood to be large enough to accommodate potential developments in the next round of French offshore wind, Round 5.