Delayed Dunkirk debate set to launch this autumn

In: Windfarms
The public debate for the Dunkirk offshore wind farm has been rescheduled for September 2020, following delays due to COVID-19. The Eoliennes en mer de Dunkerque (EMD) consortium - consisting of EDF Renouvelables, innogy, and Enbridge - was announced as winner of the tender to develop the project in June 2019, with a record low strike price of €44/MWh.

Prior to applying for consents, the project must undergo a public consultation concerning the project design, socio-economic issues, and impacts on the environment and regional planning. In March, the National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) approved the 'owner's file' , which outlines key elements of the project such as design and schedule as well as thoughts on any environmental, social and economic impacts. The CNDP intended to hold the debate from mid-April to mid-July, but this was put on hold due to COVID-19.

The CNDP met on 1st July to confirm the terms and timetable for the upcoming debate which will now officially launch on 14th September. Public and stakeholder engagement will include a participative online platform, public meetings, small workshops and written correspondence.

The debate will close on 13th December 2020 after which the CNDP will publish a report and balance sheet containing all opinions expressed during the debate. After a further three months, the contracting authority decides on the principle and conditions for continuing the project and indicates the measures it deems necessary to implement in order to tackle any matters raised in the debate.

Located within a ​​50 km² area and more than 10 km from the coast, the 600 MW project is to feature a maximum of 46 turbines with monopile foundations. RTE will construct the offshore and onshore transmission systems. The cost of the wind farm and transmission system is estimated to be 1.4 billio euros. Over the next two years, EMD will prepare and apply for necessary authorisations. Commissioning is scheduled for 2027.

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