RTE Seeks UXO Survey Squad for Two French Offshore Wind Projects

RTE Réseau de Transport d’Electricité has issued a tender for offshore unexploded ordnance (UXO) survey along the export cable routes of the Centre Manche 1 & 2 (AO4 auction) and South Britanny (A05 auction) offshore wind farm grid connection projects.

The aim of the surveys is to identify potential locations of UXOs in the corridors envisaged for the laying of the export cables of the future offshore wind farms and to provide site data to France’s Department of Underwater and Submarine Archaeological Research (DRASSM), so that the latter can carry out the archaeological assessment on each cable route corridor of the projects, in order to obtain the project permits.

The scope of the contract is divided into two lots – Lot 1 for Centre Manche 1 & 2 and Lot 2 for South Britanny.

The duration of the contract is three years with no options for renewal. The deadline for submission of bids is 5 August 2022.

Centre Manche 1 & 2 offshore wind farms are located within the Centre Manche zone offshore Normandy. The developers of the two wind farms will be selected through the offshore auction A04, also known as La Manche.

Six companies and consortia were selected to compete for the right to build the first project which is expected to have a capacity of between 900 MW and 1,050 MW.

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The winner of this tender is planned to be announced by the end of 2022, and the wind farm is expected to be fully commissioned by 2028.

The second offshore wind farm will have a maximum capacity of 1.5 GW and cover approximately 260 square kilometres.

The project, located 40-50 kilometres east of the Manche department, is expected to be awarded through a tendering procedure in 2023.

The A05 auction is still ongoing for the first French commercial floating offshore wind project which will be located off the coast of South Brittany.

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The 270 MW wind farm will be located off the island Belle-Île and Île de Groix and installed in water depth of approximately 90 metres.

Both auctions are part of a wider plan by the French government which, under the the Multiannual Energy Programme (Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie), is in the process of putting 8.75 GW of offshore wind capacity out to tender by 2028.

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Photo: RWE/Illustration