10 bidders preselected for Dunkerque wind
Thursday, May 18, 2020
France has pre-selected 10 companies and consortia to bid in its third offshore wind tender, according to local reports.

The tender covers between 250 MW and 750 MW of new offshore wind capacity in a 122-sq km site, around 11 km from the port of Dunkerque in northern France.

According to reports, the Commission de régulation de l’énergie (CRE) has pre-approved Norway’s Statoil, Sweden’s Vattenfall, InControl France and Belgium’s Deme Concessions Wind, as well as consortia comprising: Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables and RES; France’s Engie with Portuguese EDPR; Belgium’s Parkwind with France’s Valeco; EDF EN with Innogy and Enbridge; and Canada’s Boralex with CMI5i Pastor.

These companies were deemed to have met technical and financial criteria, and will enter the selection phase this summer. This should take around four to six months, with the winner announced in early 2018.

Bidders will reportedly be assessed on price, optimisation of the site and environmental considerations in this respective order of importance.

The successful project would then be commissioned sometime in 2022.

Announcing the Dunkerque tender in December 2016, French Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea Segolene Royal said that it would involve a process of “competitive dialogue” that would allow those bidding to “improve” their bids during the process, and so, it is hoped, keep costs down. She added that environmental studies would be carried out by the authorities before the end of the bidding process and the permitting process would be streamlined.

At the time, a separate round was also announced for a 120-square km site, with up to 500 MW of capacity, off the island of Oléron on the country’s Atlantic west coast, where some firms, including Germany’s WPD, had long lobbied for access.

France’s first offshore tender, for 2 GW of capacity across four different sites, was issued in 2012. EdF and Alstom won the right to develop three of the sites, which will use more than 250 turbines, while Spain’s Iberdrola, in conjunction with the French nuclear group Areva, took the final spot.

In 2014, a consortium led by France’s Engie and including compatriots Areva and Neoen Marine, along with EDP Renovaveis of Portugal, won a tender for a further 1 GW.

These capacities were tendered as part of France’s original energy plans to establish 3 GW of offshore wind by 2023, under the so-called Plan de programmation pluriannuelle de l’energie (PPE). Revised targets have since stated there could be a further 3-GW pipeline after 2023 in a high-uptake scenario, although current expectations suggest that its focus will remain on floating turbines.

2016 saw four consortia awarded tenders to build floating wind pilot projects at Gruissan, Groix, Faraman and Leucate. Recent reports indicate that the industry is pressing the government to hold a larger 2-GW floating tender in early 2018 which, if heeded, could see the country’s 6-GW offshore scenario met sooner than expectations.

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