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EDF wins race to develop French offshore wind electricity generation

10 Apr 2012 14:53:48 | edem

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A consortium led by incumbent producer EDF has won three of four concessions in the first round of the French offshore wind tenders, winning three concessions totalling just under 1500MW of installed capacity, French energy minister Eric Besson announced on Friday.

Spain's Iberdrola, which teamed up with French manufacturer Areva, prevented a clean sweep by the incumbent generator, winning one 500MW concession at Saint-Brieuc, off the coast of Brittany.

The government decided to scrap the fifth and final zone, at Tréport in Normandy, as it felt the projected price of electricity generation was too high.

Prospective installed capacity from the four zones stands at 2GW - below the government's initial objective of 3GW.

The decision to award EDF three of the four concessions was based on a report submitted on 28 March by French energy regulator CRE, which highlighted the differences in projected electricity prices.

EDF chief executive officer Henri Proglio said in a statement he was "delighted" by the result, which he added "represents the beginning of a new industrial adventure in renewable energy for France."

EDF's partners in the process are Denmark's DONG Energy and manufacturer Alstom.

The next step

Alstom unveiled its new 6MW Haliade turbine in March, which it had been developing to coincide with the results of the tender (see EDEM 23 March 2012).

Alstom's CEO Patrik Kron confirmed in a statement that his company would be setting up four new factories to make the turbines.

Construction work is expected to begin mid-2015, with the wind farms scheduled to begin production in 2017.

A series of in-depth feasibility studies will be conducted in April-October 2013, while environmental impact assessments are expected to take two years.

Market participants previously told ICIS Heren the wind farms would have a limited impact on wholesale spot prices.

France has a goal of generating 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The government is expected to launch a second offshore wind tender for a further 3GW later in 2012. TH

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