France looks at new offshore projects

FRANCE: France has started work on identifying further areas suitable for installing projects, each using fixed and floating turbines, energy and environment minister Ségolène Royal has revealed.

French energy minister Ségolène Royal
French energy minister Ségolène Royal

First, the authorities and industry are selecting the most favourable zones according to the wind resource and various technical criteria. Initial results are expected by the summer.

At the same time, grid operator RTE is looking at how best to connect the facilities to the grid, what technical solutions might be possible, the costs involved and the likely timeframe.

The results of both studies will form the basis for local consultations with all interested parties to be held in the second half of the year. These will help narrow down the zones where facilities can be built.

The minister is also working on the regulatory framework, including studying the possibility of further tenders and establishing how best to support the floating sector.

Last month, GDF Suez and Areva won the second French offshore tender for two projects with a capacity of 1GW.

The projects are a 500MW wind farm near Le Tréport, northern France, and 500MW near the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier, western France.

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