Ségolène Royal, France’s Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea, has announced the launch of a new call for tenders for offshore wind projects off the island of Oléron in the Atlantic as part of the country’s Round 3 offshore wind tender.
The new zone, added to the one off Dunkirk announced back in April, has been unanimously supported by the regional governmental bodies and representatives.
Minister Royal has also instructed the Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic, the Prefect of the New Region Aquitaine and the Charente-Maritime Prefect to continue consultations and define, together with interested parties and the public, an area for the development of an offshore wind farm and its connection to the public electricity transmission network.
Particular attention will be paid to issues of economic activities, including fishing, and environmental issues related to the choice of the area, the ministry said.
Back in 2013, Wpd Offshore started developing a proposal for the construction of a EUR 2 billion, 500MW wind farm some 15 kilometres off Oléron, now added to the Round 3 tender.
France Energie Eolienne has welcomed the news that the arguments supported by its members in favor of an additional zone in Oléron have been heard.
“This dynamic is part of the logic of cutting costs, an absolute priority in the sector, through larger volume, and strengthening the development of the wind industry on French territory ,” said Olivier Perot, President of France Energie Eolienne.
“This announcement encourages the industry to redouble their efforts to enhance cost reductions in the offshore wind power market and sends a very positive signal from France with regard to its commitment in the energy transition and the continued development of the French offshore wind industry.”
The expanded tender comes within the framework of the implementation of the Multi-annual energy programme (PPE) that minister Royal issued on 28 October, under the law on the energy transition to green growth.
PPE sets out the plan for the development of 3GW of offshore wind capacity in France by 2023, with further 3GW in the pipeline post-2023. The program also calls for the approval of up to 2GW of floating wind and tidal projects in addition to the 100MW that will be in service by 2023.
Since the beginning of the year, the ministry has awarded four demonstration floating wind farm projects in the Mediterranean and off Britanny, and has launched the Round 3 offshore wind tender for the area off Dunkirk, as well as the tender for commercial floating offshore wind farms.