Alstom, EDF and WPD have announced a tie-up aimed at France's second offshore tender. Two up to 500MW projects are being tendered; at Le Tréport in the English Channel and near the island of Noirmoutier in the Atlantic. If it is successful, Alstom's 6MW Haliade turbines would be deployed. They would be manufactured at two sites in Normandy.
The announcement follows that from DONG Energy – a member of EDF's consortium for the first 3MW tender – that it would not bid. Other potential bidders include Iberdrola, Eole-RES, Nass&Wind Offshore, GDF-Suez, Neoen and EDP Renewables.
But questions have been raised over the second tender's viability. Jatin Sharma, head of offshore underwriting at renewable energy insurer, GCube, warned that French developers' preference for domestic suppliers and site-specific safety issues could raise costs. Additionally, the projects are closer to marine traffic than their German or British counterparts.
And Le Tréport has faced local opposition, particularly from fishermen who fear the impact on fishing grounds. The project featured in the first tender, with a capacity of 600-750MW. GDF Suez was the only bidder then and the government declared the proposed price too high and withdrew the zone.