France Launches Third Call for Offshore Wind Tenders

Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Environment, Energy and Marine, yesterday launched the third offshore wind call for tenders for an area off the coast of Dunkerque, identified as having favorable conditions for offshore wind development. 

The Minister appointed the Maritime Prefect for the English Channel and the North Sea, and the Prefect for the Northern region – Pas-de-Calais Picardie, to carry out consultations in support of the launch of the tender invitation.

This falls within the framework of further offshore wind development, which would contribute to the achievement of the target of 40 per cent of renewable electricity by 2030.

Royal announced that the third call for tender will be characterized by several novelties, aimed at reducing costs and simplifying procedures, as part of an order and a decree to be published soon after consideration by the State Council.

A new tendering procedure, known as “competitive dialogue”, will be tailored to the specific requirements of offshore wind, the French government said. It will allow an interaction with the candidates to specify their scope statements and give them the opportunity to improve their offers during the procedure.

Furthermore, studies on risks related to wind, wave height, depth and composition of the soil will be conducted by public institutions before the final submission of tenders, so that manufacturers can refine their proposals and consider these risks at a fair level.

In addition, the government plans to introduce other simplification measures to facilitate obtaining authorisations. In particular, the successful bidder will be assigned a concession for occupancy of a public maritime domain.

In 2014, when it was announced that the third tender invitation would be launched in 2015, Minister Royal revealed the “competitive dialogue” approach.

France held two tenders for offshore wind: one in 2011, which allowed the allocation of four zones off the Fécamp, Courseulles-sur-Mer, Saint-Brieuc and Saint-Nazaire, with a total capacity of nearly 2,000MW; the other in 2013, for the installation of 1,000MW of capacity spread across two areas off Tréport and the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier.

Source: Offshore WIND