By Francois de Beaupuy (Bloomberg) —
A group of companies led by Electricite de France SA won a government tender to build the country’s largest offshore wind farm, beating out competing bids led by the likes of Engie SA and TotalEnergies SE.
The state-controlled utility, along with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Enbridge Inc., won the right to build a 1-gigawatt wind farm off the coast of Normandy, enough to power about 800,000 homes, the ministry said Energy transition with A opinion On Monday. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2031.
“Construction should start between 2026 and 2027,” once the consortium has completed the permitting procedures, Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said in an interview Newspaper La Presse de La Manche. It was expected to represent a €2 billion ($2.15 billion) investment, she said, adding that the winners offered to supply electricity from the plant for less than €45 per megawatt-hour.
The award consolidates EDF’s influence on the French offshore wind energy market. The energy supplier, together with various partners, won four of the previous seven Offers organized by the French government since 2012, including the last one in 2019. President Emmanuel Macron said that as part of the nation’s plan to go carbon, the country should have about 50 offshore wind farms by 2050, with a total production capacity of 40 gigawatts center of the century neutral.
France is lagging behind neighbors such as Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Belgium in this area. Due to lengthy permitting procedures, only one commercial wind farm has been commissioned in French waters so far, while three more are under construction. In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Macron’s government passed legislation aimed at cutting red tape and speeding up regulatory approvals for renewable energy projects in a bid to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.
For the Normandy offshore wind tender, the French government had shortlisted five other bidders or groups of bidders, including Shell Plc, Iberdrola SA, a joint venture between Engie and EDP Renovaveis SA, and two separate consortia led by TotalEnergies and Vattenfall AWAY.
These companies are all among 10 bidders – or groups of bidders – selected by the government to participate in a tender to construct the country’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm, to be built off the south coast of Brittany. The winner According to the government, it should be announced by the end of the year.
Most of them have also been shortlisted to participate in auctions to build a 1 GW offshore wind farm near the island of Oleron on the Atlantic coast and another 1.5 GW wind farm off the Normandy coast .
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