France Launches Call for 2.5 GW of Offshore Wind Tenders

© Cyril / Adobe Stock
© Cyril / Adobe Stock

France launched a tender for four offshore wind projects totalling 2.5 gigawatts (GW) on Thursday and announced plans for another 10 GW later this year, as it seeks to catch up with other more advanced wind power producers.

The first round of tenders covers a 500-megawatt (MW) project in south Brittany, two 500-MW projects in the Mediterranean and a 1-GW project in Oleron, situated on the country's southwestern coast.

Locations for the 10 GW tenders are expected to be set by the end of September and awarded in autumn 2026.

France is pushing offshore wind power as part of its decarbonization strategy. It currently only has one operational offshore wind project in Saint Nazaire on the west coast, although it has issued tenders for several more.

"We are starting seriously late when it comes to offshore wind power," said Economy and Finance minister Bruno le Maire during a visit to the Saint Nazaire offshore wind farm.

"When I compare it to other major European nations, it's a bit of a tragedy that in France we discuss, we debate, and we have a little difficulty in deciding and moving forward," he added.

The new call for tenders will include a clause that limits the number of projects that can be won by a single supplier to ensure a competitive market.

State-owned power giant EDF has won the majority of tenders launched in the country so far.

Le Maire also announced a decree aimed at reducing the duration of bidding procedures for future wind farms to around 12 months compared to the 2-1/2 to three years that are required currently.

(Reuters - Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Forrest Crellin; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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