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Iberdrola submitted bid for French offshore wind farm tender | Europe

Iberdrola submitted bid for French offshore wind farm tender

A consortium led by IBERDROLA, who have their global offshore wind headquarters located in Glasgow, has announced today the submission of two bids for windfarm projects off the Brittany and Atlantic coasts as part of the French Government?s competition to install up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity.

The consortium includes Eole Res, specialists in the design, development, construction and operation of renewable energy projects, together with turbine manufacturer Areva, engineering and construction company Technip, and the developer Neoen Marine.

With the offer made to the French energy regulator (Commission de Régulation de l?Energie) the consortium hopes to win two of the five contracts offered in the first phase. The result of the tender, for a total of 3,000 megawatts (MW), is expected to be announced in April. It is expected that the first wind farms will be commissioned in 2015.

Specifically, the consortium headed by IBERDROLA hopes to be awarded 980 MW, divided between two areas: Saint-Brieuc, located in Côte d?Armor (Northern Brittany), which has a potential maximum capacity of 500 MW, and Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) on the Atlantic Coast, with a potential capacity of 480 MW.

The offshore wind farms that IBERDROLA and its partners hope to install off the French coast will be able to meet the electricity supply needs of around 1.3 million costumers.

IBERDROLA, which has been conducting wind and feasibility studies in both locations for several years, believes these are some of the best sites in the world for this type of renewable energy projects.

In fact, France is, today, one of the most attractive countries for the development of this technology, so achieving success in this tender is a key strategic priority for IBERDROLA, especially since the French government announced its aim to achieve offshore wind capacity of 6,000 MW by 2020.

The company signed agreements with four prestigious French companies with extensive experience in the domestic electricity market.

The first one was signed with Areva, and, if successful, Areva would be the exclusive supplier of the turbines for the new wind farms, while IBERDROLA would be responsible for their start-up and operation. Areva will build the turbines at its new factory in Le Havre, northwest of France.

The second agreement was signed with Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry, which joined the consortium as a construction and engineering partner.

Last October the consortium gained another partner in Eole-Res, which brings to the table its know-how in the tendering of renewable projects in France, where it is among the leading developers of onshore wind farms with over 500 MW of installed capacity. It also contributes its technical expertise in the sphere of offshore wind engineering via its subsidiary RES, a specialist in offshore energy which has developed over 350 MW in the UK and which currently has an additional 5,000 MW under development in Europe and the US.

Finally, in December the consortium signed a deal with Neoen Marine, a company that specialises in marine energy with extensive knowledge of the areas where the project will be implemented. Neoen will assist with all local procedures, environmental and technical research and securing regulatory approval.

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Posted by Gisela Bühl | 2012-01-12