EDF Energies Nouvelles and GDF Suex compete in French offshore wind energy tender

EDF Energies Nouvelles said on Friday it had submitted two bids in a second French tender for offshore wind power capacity as the country seeks to become a leading player in the sector and cut its reliance on nuclear energy.

EDF Energies Nouvelles has joined with Germany’s WPD Offshore to compete for the contract with a consortium of GDF Suez, Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis and France’s Neoen Marine.

The deadline for the bids is 1300 GMT on Friday.

The French government launched the second tender earlier this year to build 1,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity, the equivalent of one nuclear reactor.

The winning bidder would install and operate turbines able to produce 500 MW off Le Treport in northern France and 500 MW off the islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu.

EDF Energies Nouvelles will propose 6-megawatt Alstom wind turbines while GDF Suez will, according to French daily Les Echos, offer 8-MW Areva turbines.

The French energy regulator, CRE, will have four months to analyse the offers and deliver its opinion to the government, which will then pick the winner.

The project, which is expected to kick off in 2021, should generate 3.5 billion euros ($4.76 billion) of investment with an annual cost of 500 million euros, paid for by consumers through their power bills.

France has set a target to build 6,000 MW in offshore wind capacity as part of a wider target for renewable energy to cover 23 percent of its energy consumption by 2020.

The first tender launched in 2012 was for 2,000 MW. French state-owned utility EDF and Alstom came out as winners of three, and Spain’s Iberdrola along with French nuclear reactor maker Areva took the fourth.