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French RTE Starts Tendering Process for 3 Offshore Substations

French transmission system operator (TSO) Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) has launched pre-qualification for a tender through which it will award a contract for the delivery of three offshore substations.

The substations will connect three floating offshore wind farms that will be built off Southern Brittany and in the French Mediterranean to the grid on land.

RTE is preparing to launch the tender early next year within the framework of the French government’s offshore wind allocation rounds 5 and 6 (AO5 and AO6) as the TSO is in charge of the development, construction and operation of the grid connections for the three projects, including the offshore substations.

The company will award a contract for three HVAC substations, each with a capacity of 750 MW and equipped with a helideck, which will be installed between 40 and 50 kilometres offshore.

The pre-qualification period is open until 26 January 2024. RTE will then launch the tender for the pre-selected candidate suppliers on 15 March 2024.

In 2021, France opened the first tender for a commercial floating offshore wind project off the south of Brittany with a capacity of up to 270 MW. Through the upcoming tender(s), the government will award a further 500 MW in the area. The floating wind projects will have a shared connection to the grid.

Last month, the French government specified the location of two floating wind projects and their subsequent extensions in the Mediterranean Sea. The two sets of projects of around 750 MW each will be built across two zones and comprise single floating wind farms with a capacity of 250 MW each.

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At the beginning of this month, France received the green light from the European Commission for the EUR 4.12 billion the government plans to use to support the construction and operation of two floating offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Lion. The tender for this area is also expected to be launched next year.


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