Renewables

France awards world’s first commercial-scale feed-in tariffs for floating wind

france auction floating wind

Photo: WindEurope

Published

May 20, 2024

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Published:

May 20, 2024

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France has announced the winners of its 250 MW South Brittany floating offshore wind auction, the world’s first conducted at a commercial scale.

The tendered 250 MW site will be the biggest floating offshore wind farm in Europe upon completion and more than double Europe’s current floating offshore wind capacity, WindEurope said.

So far Europe has only built small pilot and demonstrator projects, which makes the French auction a big step towards commercialisation and large-scale deployment of floating wind.

The winning bid amounted to EUR 86 per MWh

The feed-in tariffs were awarded to a consortium of BayWa r.e. and Elicio. Ten consortia have bid, showing huge interest in developing floating offshore wind. The winning bid amounted to EUR 86 per MWh.

All operating demonstrator and pilot facilities have a total capacity of just over 200 MW. Four stand out: Kincardine and Hywind Scotland in the United Kingdom (30 MW each), WindFloat Atlantic in Portugal (25 MW) and Hywind Tampen in Norway (95 MW). All received public financial support, WindEurope noted.

Minister Delegate for Energy Roland Lescure announced the auction results after the inauguration of France’s second fully-commissioned bottom-fixed offshore wind farm in Fécamp (Seine-Maritime).

Floating turbines are key to offshore wind development across basins

According to WindEurope, floating offshore wind is key to unlocking offshore sites with water depths of 60 meters and more.

In such areas, floating turbines are more cost-competitive than the traditional, bottom-fixed machines.

As such, floating offshore wind holds the key to offshore wind development in large parts of the Atlantic, the Celtic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Norwegian Sea and other basins with higher water depths.

Tardieu: Other countries are falling behind their targets

WindEurope pointed out that many more auctions are planned. France is expected to announce the winners of two other 250 MW sites in the Mediterranean in December. Spain, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Italy and the UK are all moving towards their first auctions.

WindEurope Chief Policy Officer Pierre Tardieu said the French announcement is great but that other countries are falling behind their announced floating wind ambitions.

“Europe risks losing its leading position for floating wind. By 2030 Europe can now expect to have at best 3 GW of floating wind in operation. And that requires the relevant auctions to be completed by 2025,” he explained.

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