Vattenfall, wpd and Caisse des Dépôts Form Dunkerque Offshore Wind Alliance

Swedish energy company Vattenfall, German wind power developer wpd and French financial institution Caisse des Dépôts have formed an alliance for the bid preparation in an offshore wind tender in Dunkerque, France.

The three companies have worked on a joint offshore project, named Éliade, since 2016, wpd said. The project site of Éliade is located near the port of Dunkerque on the sandbank of Flanders. At the moment, there are conversations with business representatives, site users and local environmental organizations taking place to achieve the best offer for the realization of the offshore wind farm, according to wpd.

“France is a very interesting market for Vattenfall’s wind energy operations. To gain a foothold there will allow us to consolidate our position as a leading global developer of offshore wind energy and take us a step further in becoming fossil-free within a generation. A stronger wind presence will also strengthen our supply business in France,” said Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Wind.

It is the third time that the French government has made sites available for offshore wind tenders. Ten companies have been selected for the project, rated at 250-750 MW, in a prequalification phase in May 2017, including Vattenfall.

The competitive dialogue phase, during which the participating companies have had dialogue meetings with the French State, has progressed well, Vattenfall said.

Following the end of the dialogue phase, companies will prepare their bids using studies carried out by the French State. These cover the specifications for the wind farm as well as providing access to environmental and technical studies.

The bids will ultimately be judged on three criteria: price, the optimization of the wind power zone and consideration for the environment. The winner is expected to be announced during the second half of this year.

The decision to participate in the bid and to invest is subject to the approval of Vattenfall’s Board of Directors, the company said.