France receives EUR2 billion floating offshore boost

In a major boost for the French renewables sector, the European Commission is providing some EUR2 billion in funding for the first commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm in the country.

The aid, to support the construction and the operation of the project off the coast of south Brittany, will run for a period of 20 years starting of the operation of the wind farm in 2028.

The EC said that the EUR2.08bn support will contribute to achieving France’s energy and environmental targets, as well as the objectives relating to the EU’s Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy and the European Green Deal.

Floating offshore wind technology is at an initial stage in France; until now only small pilot projects have been developed.

The floating offshore wind farm supported by the measure will be the first commercial project of this kind in France. It is expected to have a capacity of 230MW to 270MW, and to generate 1TWh of renewable electricity per year for a period of 35 years.

The scheme is expected to lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 430.000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The Brittany project is not the only offshore initiative creating headlines in the country as it gears up for the transition to a cleaner energy future away from fossil fuels.

Last month, for example, TotalEnergies and RWE indicated that they have applied for the competitive bidding procedure for the Center Manche 2 (AO8) offshore wind project in Normandy, France.

The bid was placed as part of the partnership between the two companies aimed at jointly responding to calls for tenders for the development of wind projects off the coast of Normandy.

The AO8 project, with an installed capacity of between 1,400 and 1,600 MW, is located near the AO4 project area (Center Manche 1), approximately 40 kilometers off the Cotentin peninsula.