France Launches Floating Offshore Wind Tenders

France has launched the competitive tendering procedure for the development of two 250 MW floating offshore wind farms in the Mediterranean Sea.

The winners of these competitive bidding procedures will be selected in 2023 and the two wind farms are expected to be commissioned by 2030.

The two wind farms are also planned to subsequently be supplemented by two extensions of 500 MW each, located nearby.

The first wind farm will be located off Narbonne, more than 22 kilometres from the coast, while the second wind farm should be located some 22 kilometres off Fos-sur-Mer, subject to the results of ongoing environmental studies.

If the results of the studies rule out this location, the second wind farm will be located in an area some 24 kilometers off Roussillon.

In addition, technical and environmental studies will be continued in an area located in the center of the Gulf of Lion, more than 34 kilometres from the coast.

The map of the areas selected for the competitive bidding procedures and the continuation of the technical and environmental studies. Source: The Ministry for Ecological Transition

The tenders were announced by France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex and Barbara Pompili, the Minister for Ecological Transition, during their visit to Port-la-Nouvelle on Monday, 14 March.

On this occasion, two calls for expressions of interest have also been launched to promote the development of port infrastructure needed to accommodate industrial activities linked to floating wind projects.

Last year, France launched a tendering procedure for a 250 MW floating wind project offshore Brittany.

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The country also has four demonstrator floating wind farms under development, three of which are scheduled to come online in the Mediterranean by 2024.

In total, France plans to spend up to EUR 300 million to support the development of the floating offshore wind industry as part of the France 2030 initiative.

The tenders are part of a wider plan by the French government which aims to allocate around 2 GW of offshore wind capacity per year from 2025 to reach 20 GW of auctioned off capacity by 2030, 18 GW of operational capacity by 2035, and 40 GW of operational capacity by 2040.

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France has also committed to quadrupling the number of direct and indirect jobs linked to offshore wind projects by 2035, allocating more than EUR 40 billion of investment over the next 15 years, and achieving local content up to 50 per cent on projects.

The country currently has 2 MW of operating offshore wind capacity, and around 5.4 GW of capacity which is either under construction or for which the tendering procedure is ongoing.

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NOTE: The original article has been updated.

Photo: Principle Power/Illustration