After an invitation to tender held by the public authorities, France’s Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition has selected the EDF Group, via its EDF Renewables subsidiary, in partnership with Innogy and Enbridge, to design, build, operate and maintain the future Dunkirk offshore wind farm.
It is the fourth offshore project that the group has won through public-sector tender procedures, after winning three projects in 2012 in Saint-Nazaire, Fécamp and Courseulles-sur-Mer.
The wind farm will be more than 10km off the coast of Dunkirk and will have installed capacity of almost 600 MW. It will supply the equivalent of around 40% of the Nord département’s electricity needs. The project is central to the development of Dunkirk’s economy – and particularly its manufacturing, marine and tourism sectors – and will create jobs in the region.
EDF will pursue its commitment to consulting with the local community, as it did during the tender procedure, and the partners intend to refer the project to the CNDP (France’s national public debate commission) in the next few months. The wind farm should come into service in 2026.
Today’s decision, along with the order made by France’s Conseil d’Etat on 7 June 2019 regarding the authorisation to operate the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm, will allow EDF to lead the way in the French marine energy sector.
The EDF Group is already a major player in offshore wind power in France and the international market. Its EDF Renewables subsidiary has developed, built and operates the Blyth wind farm in the United Kingdom (42 MW), is also continuing the development of the Neart na Gaoithe site in Scotland (450 MW) and is a shareholder in the operating project C-Power in Belgium (325 MW). With the acquisition of Dunkirk, EDF Renewables has a project portfolio of more than 2 GW in France. Finally, it is negotiating to participate in two projects in China totaling 500 MW and develops in the United States an area with a potential of 2500 MW off the state of New Jersey.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of the EDF Group, said: “We welcome this decision by the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, which confirms the quality of the work done by EDF and its partners. With the awarding of the Dunkirk project EDF is one of the leaders in offshore wind power in Europe. It shows our strong regional roots and marks the consolidation of a genuine French offshore wind industry. Our winning bid was highly competitive, and this has notably prompted the Government to double the offshore wind power targets contained in its Multi-year Energy Plan, giving new development opportunities for EDF and all participants in the sector”.