New French law makes for easier grid connections

Coastal planning rules relaxed to allow direct cable routes

Connecting offshore wind installations in France will be easier, thanks to a new law which exempts marine renewable energy projects from certain aspects of the country’s coastal planning regulations.

The change allows cables to be routed through coastal areas designated as "remarkable sites and landscapes," thus avoiding time-consuming and expensive detours to avoid protected areas.

In order to comply, the cables must pass underground and use techniques designed to cause the least environmental impact. Cables routes will also be subject to public inquiry.

Cabling for France’s first four offshore wind projects as far as well cables that will connect two further planned projects should benefit from the change in the law, confirmed French network operator, RTE, in response to Windpower Offshore enquiries. Cables linking all six projects to France’s land-based grid could pass through protected areas. RTE now has the option of designing more direct, and therefore cheaper, routes.


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