French energy giant Total has entered the floating wind farm business in France with the acquisition of a 20% stake in the Eolmed floating wind farm pilot project, located in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Gruissan and near Port-La-Nouvelle.
Total, an oil major with a target of reaching 35 GW of production capacity from renewable sources by 2025, said that the Qair-operated 30MW Eolmed project would accelerate the development of floating wind technology.
"Together with Qair, the historical developer and majority shareholder of the project, and its local partners, Total brings its experience in the conception, deployment and exploitation of offshore installations throughout their life cycle," Total said.
"Total is thus continuing to reinforce its position in the emerging sector of floating offshore wind, in which it wants to be one of the world leaders. Today, the group is present in South Korea with a portfolio of 2 gigawatts and in the United Kingdom with the 100 MW Erebus project, which has just been granted exclusive development rights for its area," Total said.
The news comes just days after it was revealed that offshore wind turbine maker MHI Vestas Offshore Wind had been selected by Qair as the preferred wind turbine supplier for the project. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind supply three V164-10.0 MW turbines. The turbines will be installed on Ideol’s foundation.
According to information on Qair's website, the wind turbines will be on the bathymetry of the 62m depth and anchored to the seabed.
Julien Pouget, Director Renewables of Total, said: "Floating offshore wind is a very promising segment in which Total notably brings its extensive experience in offshore projects. Together with our partner Qair, we have the necessary resources to meet the technological and financial challenges that will determine our future success. I am delighted that Total can contribute to the emergence of this new sector in France. “
Louis Blanchard, CEO of Qair said: "The Eolmed project is at the heart of the Occitanie Region's strategy for the development of renewable energies, actively supported by local partners. It also demonstrates Qair's ambition to become a major player in floating offshore wind energy in Europe. By joining forces with a renowned French industrial partner for this innovative project developed by our teams since 2016, Qair is strengthening its technical expertise for the realization of the Eolmed project and for future floating wind projects.”
Eolmed is scheduled for installation in 2023.