French TSO Issues Contract Notice for Two Offshore Grid Connections

French transmission system operator RTE Réseau de Transport d’Electricité has issued a contract notice seeking the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of four HVDC converter stations and two connected offshore platforms.

The contract also includes all of the necessary civil works and associated maintenance contracts.

The French government will award two projects that aim at developing and building offshore wind farms in the English Channel, AO4 with a maximum power of up to 1.05 GW, and AO8 with a maximum power of up to 1.5 GW.

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RTE will be in charge of the development, construction and operation of the two grid connections, Centre Manche 1 and Centre Manche 2, with a maximum power of 1.25 GW each, using 320 kV HVDC technology.

The Centre Manche 1 grid connection will connect the full AO4 offshore wind farm capacity, and a part of the AO8 offshore wind farm capacity, and the Centre Manche 2 grid connection will connect up to 1.25 GW of the AO8 offshore wind farm.

The scope of works consists of the EPCIC-O&M turnkey delivery of two integrated HVDC grid connection systems for Centre Manche 1 and Centre Manche 2 offshore wind projects, with +/- 320kV symetrical monopole configuration.

The requirements will be mostly identical for the two grid connections except for the site specificities, as well as the offshore platform of CM1 that will connect two offshore wind farms.

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The contracts for each of the two grid connections cover one HVCD onshore substation, including the civil works, the control and protection system, and the auxiliary system; and one HVDC offshore substation, including the jacket and the topside, the control and protection system, and the auxiliary system.

The procurement process aims at awarding two contracts to one single awardee; one EPCIC contract including engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning of the two integrated HVDC grid connection systems, with an estimated duration of eight years; and one O&M contract for operations and maintenance of the two integrated HVDC grid connection systems with a maximum duration of 20 years.

The tender will remain open until 18 January.

France plans to select the developer of the AO4 wind farm by the end of the year, and the tender for the development of the AO8 wind farm is expected to take place in 2023.

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