French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced on Saturday that a second tender for developement of 1.3GW in additional offshore wind capacity will be launched by the end of the year.
As expected, the tender will focus on just two zones: 705MW off Le Tréport in the English Channel and 600MW near the Isle of Noirmoutier, on the Atlantic coast.
There had been speculation last week that the tender would be launched imminently, while earlier this summer it was widely rumoured that the tender would be delayed to 2013.
"It is a very significant investment but also an advantage for the development of a French industrial sector," said Ayrault at the end of a two-day conference on environmental issues in preparation for a wider debate on energy this autumn.
Given that 1.9GW was awarded in the country's first offshore wind tender last April, this latest announcement suggests that at least one more tender will be necessary if France is to meet its offshore target of 6GW of installed capacity by 2020.