Major growth opportunities for wind power Vergnet

On 12 November, the French Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea launched a call for tenders for the construction of land-based wind turbines in the overseas departments and on Corsica.

This initiative is designed to give renewed momentum to the development of land- based wind installations in the overseas departments and on Corsica, with the ultimate aim being the achievement of the goals laid down by the Grenelle Environmental Round Table.

A 1(st) phase of 10 projects with a combined capacity of 75 MW in the overseas departments

This 1(st) call for tenders consists of 13 wind farm projects representing combined capacity of 95 megawatts (MW), 20 MW of which are in the department of Guadeloupe and the Collectivities of Saint-Barthelemy and of Saint- Martin (3 projects), 15 MW in the department of Guyana (1 project), 20 MW in the department of Martinique (3 projects), 20 MW in the departments of La Reunion (3 projects), and 20 MW on Corsica (3 projects).

Upon completion of this call for tenders, the Ministry plans to launch a second call for tenders involving the same type of installation.

Promoting the development of a 2(nd) generation anti-cyclone wind turbine

For the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Reunion and the Collectivities of Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, and in order to ensure they perform properly in local weather conditions, these installations must be fitted with anti-cyclone devices, notably enabling the most exposed sections, in particular the blades, to be lowered to the ground.

The second objective of the call for tenders to is bring about the development of technology designed to reduce the impact of wind installations on the electricity grid, so as to be able to substantially increase the proportion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources across these regions, currently limited to 30%. To this end, the installations must absolutely be fitted with devices to store electricity and forecast production.

These new generation devices are the only means currently of controlling the intermittent nature of wind energy, thereby enabling greater use across electricity grids.

In return, the wind farms built will enjoy better tariffs. The call for tenders notably provides for a maximum of EUR180 / MWh (compared to EUR110 / MWh at present) for the departments of Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, La Reunion and the Collectivities of Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin.