Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Green light for floating wind turbines in the Gulf of Lion

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, January 27th 2022 à 18:20 | Read 1666 times

Green light for floating wind turbines in the Gulf of Lion
Green light for floating wind turbines in the Gulf of Lion
FRANCE. Ocean WInds (a joint venture between EDP Renewables and Engie) and the Banque des Territoires announced on Thursday 27 January 2022 that they had just taken the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the construction of three 10 MW floating wind turbines some fifteen kilometres off the coast of Leucate (Aude) and Le Barcarès (Pyrénées Orientales).

The two shareholders of the future floating wind farm, named EFGL (Eoliennes flottantes du golfe du Lion), have been working on this project since 2017. This DFI will enable the contracts with the main industrial and financial partners to be signed in order to launch the construction phase. The final assembly of the materials required for the wind turbine-float assemblies will be carried out in Port-La Nouvelle. Commissioning is planned for the end of 2023 for a twenty-year operating period.

This pilot farm will provide the annual electricity needs of more than 50,000 coastal inhabitants, the equivalent of the town of Narbonne.

Still no floating wind turbines in service in France

"This is the third generation of floats from Principle Power Inc. - s third generation of floats - after the WindFloat Atlantic (2MW) commissioned ten years ago and the WindFloat Atlantic (25MW) two years ago - the EFGL float design includes significant improvements and new solutions. It is now the most advanced float technology and is ready for large-scale commercial deployment," explains Grzegorz Gorski. Chief operator of Ocean Winds, he calls it "a technological benchmark for the entire floating wind industry." Emmanuel Legrand, Director of Energy and Ecological Transition at the Banque des Territoires, confirms this: "the DFI is opening the door to the deployment of an innovative technology that could play a significant role in achieving the national renewable energy production targets."

Its promoters even describe this project as "a major step for the development of floating wind power in France". No floating wind turbine has yet been installed on France's four coastlines. This is despite several applications being approved following a call for projects launched by the Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) in 2015 (see box below) and twelve projects expected by 2030.

France currently only has the 2 MW Floatgen demonstrator of the École Centrale de Nantes off the coast of Le Croisic since 2017, designed by BW-ideol in La Ciotat, and the small-scale (1/10th) Eolink demonstrator developing 200 kW, since 2018, on the experimental site of Ifremer in Sainte-Anne-du-Portzic.

Decision imminent for floating wind turbine projects in the Mediterranean

The most advanced project in France is the one located off Saint Nazaire. Supported by EDF Renewables, Enbridge and General Electric, it comprises eighty wind turbines with a total capacity of 480 MW. The bases of the masts are in the water as well as the connection platform.

As for the EOS (for EOliennes flottanteS) floating wind farm projects in the Mediterranean, "the decision has not yet been taken", confirms a source close to the dossier to "But the State must make a decision and respond to the public debate (Editor's note: Finished since 31 December 2021) before the end of March 2022," he confided.

Our European neighbours have more than 5,400 floating wind turbines off their coasts.

Read also: Two floating wind projects to emerge in the Mediterranean

Several projects in France since... 2015

Proposed by the Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) in August 2015, as part of the Future Investment Programme, a call for tenders led to the designation, in 2016, of winners for four floating wind turbine pilot farms. One will be located south of the island of Groix in Brittany (developed by Eolfi, China's CGN Europe Energy and the Banque des Territoires) with three wind turbines with a capacity of €9.5m. The other three will emerge in the South of France. EolMed off the coast of Gruissan and Port-la-Nouvelle carried by Qair, Total (since October 2020), Arec, Calen, Le Grand Narbonne, Semper and Amidéole (3 wind turbines of 10 MW). Eoliennes flottantes du golfe du Lion (EFGL) in Leucate-Barcarès with Ocean Winds and the Banque des Territoires (3 wind turbines for 10 MW). And Provence Grand Large (PGL) in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône with EDF Renouvelables and Enbridge.


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