France Starts Competitive Dialogue on Dunkirk Offshore Wind

French Ministry of Environment, Energy and the Sea has started the so-called ”competitive dialogue” procedure to select potential developers and define an area best suited for development of offshore wind farms off Dunkirk.

Dunkirk is part of France’s third round of tenders for the development of offshore wind selected for its favourable conditions and supported by the region’s elected officials.

Earlier this year, Minister Ségolène Royal initiated the process of consultation with regional authorities, developers, local communities and business enterprises to identify an area off Dunkirk which will have the least impact on the environment, as well as on established economic industries such as fishing and tourism.

The competitive dialogue is part of France’s recently adopted law on energy transition which allows developers, authorities and local and regional communities and businesses to interact and provide feedback which will be taken into consideration when choosing areas for the development of offshore wind farms.

The procedure is expected to provide developers with a chance to amend and improve their proposals during the tender process and to prevent possible subsequent delays.

The competitive dialogue procedure has started on 12 December, and the first step is the selection of potential developers, the Ministry said.

The Round 3 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.