France names final six candidates for Normandy wind farm

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition in France has named the six candidates who will be progressing to the final stage of the tender for the planned 1 GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Normandy.

The candidates are:
- Eoliennes en Mer Manche Normandie (EDF);
- Renouvelable and Maple Power (Enbridge and CPPIB);
- Iberdrola Renovables France;
- Ocean Winds (ENGIE and EDPR);
- Shell;
- A consortium of Total and RWE; and
- A consortium of Vattenfall, wpd, and the Banque des Territoires.

The government launched the competition in January 2021 and these six candidates will now enter a “competitive dialogue” phase, in which the State will discuss draft tender specifications with them.

These conversations will build on comments made in the public debates, held in 2019 and 2020, about environmental considerations, fishing activities, economic benefits, and incentives for rapid implementation. The public debate closed in August 2020 after being heavily delayed by COVID-19. Overall, 28 meetings were hosted and more than 2000 people met in the territory and online.

For the Normandy wind farm, a 500 km2 area has been selected, >32 km from the coast. It will connect to Cotentin. The area, described as having “a low level of fishing activity and limited biodiversity issues”, will be further reduced during the tender proceedings and as survey data is published.

“The future of our electricity system depends on the development of offshore wind power”, said Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister for the Ecological Transition. “The wind conditions and the seabed off Normandy are very favourable to offshore wind power, which makes it possible to install wind turbines that produce a lot of energy, under competitive economic conditions.”

The 900-1,050 MW Normandy project is the second offshore wind farm tendered under France's revised tender regime, which includes the competitive dialogue phase. This was first introduced for the Dunkirk project, awarded to EDF, innogy, and Enbridge in 2019.

The government expects to select a winner in 2022 with a view to reaching commissioning in 2028.

The French goverment, under the Multi-Year Energy Program (PPE), has set an installed offshore wind capacity target for 2.4 GW by 2023 and 5.2-6.2 GW by 2028.

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