France Names Winner of Country’s First Large-Scale Floating Offshore Wind Tender

A consortium between Belgium-based Elicio and BayWa r.e. has won the AO5 tender in France to develop and operate the country’s first floating offshore wind farm, the 250 MW Pennavel project, off the south coast of Brittany.

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. 

The tender brought together ten candidates pre-selected by the Commission for Regulation of Energy (CRE), on the basis of their technical and financial capacities.

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On 15 May 2024, the BayWa r.e. and Elicio consortium were announced as winners of the AO5 tender to build the Pennavel floating offshore wind farm. The offer proposed by the consortium amounted to EUR 86.45 per MWh and was selected following the examination of all projects by the CRE.

The 250 MW Pennavel will be the first commercial floating offshore wind farm in the world to be awarded a long-term Contract for Difference (CfD), said the consortium.

The project is said to benefit from a secured grid connection with RTE, the French transmission system operator (TSO), who is responsible for the transmission assets including offshore substation and export cables.

“We are delighted by the decision of the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, which recognises the huge commitment and quality of the work carried out by the BayWa r.e. and Elicio teams. We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration with the region and all stakeholders in support of the energy transition,” said Matthias Taft, CEO of BayWa r.e.

The developers have committed to spending EUR 5 million to support the development of socio-economical activities relayed to the project in the Brittany and Pays de la Loire regions.

Through crowdfunding, the local population will have the opportunity to invest in this project.

Furthermore, the Pennavel floating offshore wind farm is expected to generate around 4.5 million working hours during the construction phase and more than 30 permanent jobs during the operational one.

The consortium said the wind farm, the second floating wind project in Europe won by Elicio and BayWa r.e. after the 960 MW Buchan project in Scotland, would generate approximately 30 per cent of Brittany’s current renewable energy production and power over 450,000 inhabitants annually.

Armed with our pioneering experience in offshore and building on our successful onshore wind track record in France, we are confident that we will contribute to the success of competitive floating offshore projects in France, combining sound project execution with a unique local footprint. Elicio is proud to add this French project to its extensive portfolio of offshore wind projects in Belgium and Scotland,” said Alain Janssens, CEO of Elicio.

Earlier this month, France kicked off a tender for four offshore wind projects, totalling 2.5 GW in capacity, while also disclosing ambitions to pursue an additional 10 GW later this year.

The first round of tenders includes a 500 MW project in south Brittany, two 500 MW projects in the Mediterranean, and a 1 GW project in Oleron.

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