March 5. 2024. 8:43

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EDF selected to build France’s largest offshore wind farm

A company partly owned by French energy giant EDF has won the tender to build the country’s largest offshore wind farm off the coast of Normandy, the Energy Transition Ministry announced on Monday (27 March).

Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie (EMMN), a joint company of EDF Renewables and Maples Power, was selected to pilot the “Centre Manche 1” project.

The project representing 1 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity is enough to meet the electricity consumption of 800,000 homes, France’s Energy Transition Ministry announced on Monday (27 March).

By selecting EMMN, the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE) cements EDF’s stranglehold on the French offshore wind sector, with the energy giant now being implicated in five out of eight projects off the French coast.

EMMN has proposed a competitive MWh price of €44.90, far from the peaks reached by electricity in recent months.

Even if it does not reflect the full cost of the electricity system, this price “shows the strong reduction in costs in the sector”, said Maxence Cordiez, former director of European Affairs at the French Atomic Energy Commission, on Twitter.

“By way of comparison, calls for tender for onshore wind and solar photovoltaic energy are now coming out at prices around 50% higher,” especially as prices on this market were around €140-150 per MWh, Cordiez added.

To deliver on the specifications, project developers will have to develop floating wind farms, Cordiez said.

Other projects in the works

A similar project of 250 MW will be developed off the coast of Brittany. The tender specifications for the project were published on Monday.

The Energy Transition Ministry also announced the companies retained to pilot the non-floating offshore wind projects off the island of Oléron (1 GW) as well as the one off the coast of Normandy (1.5 GW).

France now has 4 GW of offshore wind power under development, which, when installed, will have a theoretical generation capacity of four nuclear reactors.

France passed a law at the start of March to accelerate the deployment of renewables. By speeding up the granting of permits, it aims to install 40 GW worth of capacity by 2050.

French lawmakers rubber-stamp Renewable Acceleration Law

French Senators on Tuesday (7 February) gave their final approval to the Renewable Energy Acceleration Bill, marking another step in France’s attempt to catch up with its failed 2020 target on renewables.