Clean Power

Published on August 10th, 2015 | by Guest Contributor


France Launches Tender For Floating Wind Farm — World’s First

August 10th, 2015 by  

Originally published on RenewEconomy
by Sophie Vorrath

France has launched a tender for what would be the world’s first large-scale floating wind farm, inviting companies to submit proposals for installations off both its northern and southern coasts.

Floating-Wind-Turbines-300x225French environmental agency ADEME posted a tender document on Wednesday calling for proposals for wind farms of between three to six turbines, with the capacity for at least 5MW per turbine, at three sites in the Mediterranean and one site in the Bay of Biscay, off the southern coast of Brittany.

As Reuters reports, floating wind technology aims to remove limitations for offshore wind farms, which are foundation-based and restricted to sites up to 50m in depth.

The technology has been pioneered by Portugal and Norway in the past few years, each with a single floating turbine, and Portugal plans to build a 25 MW floating wind demonstration farm.

The French project will be the first to test floating offshore wind on a large scale, however, as part of a push by the government to encourage the transition from a nuclear-heavy energy market to one that produces at least a third of its energy through renewables.

According to Reuters, the French government has made €150 million ($1US63.53 million) available for the cutting edge project, a third as investment subsidies and two-thirds as loans.

Feed-in tariff bids could range between 150 to 275 euros per megawatt, according to industry specialists, who expect the government will select two or three bids with a total combined capacity of 45 to 100 megawatt, depending on the number and size of the turbines proposed.

Bidders will have to propose how much capacity they would want to build and specify what sort of feed-in tariff they hope to get for any electricity produced.

According to the tender document, turbines must have a demonstrated lifespan of at least two years, though the government expects the projects — if chosen and constructed — to last at least 15 to 20 years. The tender will be open for submissions through April 4, 2016.


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  • Luis Jaime Fernández

    Hi everyone! Does any of you know where I can find this document about the proposals?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Larmion
      • Bob_Wallace

        Google will translate it.

      • Luis Jaime Fernández

        Yeah, that’s the one I found, but what I’m looking for is an english file. My french level is not still good enough.

        Anyway, thanks!

        • Bob_Wallace

          Open it in Chrome.

          “Google will translate it.”

  • Jenny Sommer

    There is no propeller on the KiteGen. The generator is at ground level.
    I am not supposed to post any more links or anything about the KiteGen…
    Just for you…the link was the second pdf you can find on
    Perfectly save.

    The kites operate at up to 2000m yet the whole structure weights ~50 times less than a turbine.

    Promise Bob, that is my last post (maybe some more in that conversation) about the KiteGen for the next 3 Month or when we see a new demoplant.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If it’s truly relevant to the conversation or if there is news to report then there’s no problem.

  • Joshua Rhodes

    Using existing platforms would be an energy density problem. The amount of energy pulled out of the ground in oil/gas would be orders of magnitude higher than the amount of wind energy you could get from a platform. I imagine that you could only get 1 turbine per platform, but not sure. If you were to have floating wind farms where old oil platforms were, you would probably want to use it as a staging or maintenance area for the other floating units — keeping all the “foundations” the same would cut down your maintenance costs. Also, you have to lay undersea cables, which are not cheap.

  • RedBear

    We can already build giant floating oil exploration platforms, so this would seem to be an easily solvable engineering problem. I’ve actually been surprised that no one has done this yet. I’ve noticed there’s a lot of deep water coastline that hasn’t yet been deemed suitable for offshore wind installations just because the sea floor is too deep or the wrong consistency. Good to see this is finally being explored.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The foundations for the US non-floating wind turbines at Block Island were built in a facility that builds oil rigs for the Gulf and floated to Rhode Island.

      As we slow down offshore drilling a move to manufacturing towers and floats for wind would be a great replacement.

      • Foersom

        Yes, offshore wind turbine foundations are great opportunity for local shipyards.

        • Ronald Brakels

          We could build some in the shipyards in South Australia. I know we have plenty of room here on land for wind turbines, but I thought that putting them out at sea might protect them from politicians. But unfortunately, Tony Abbott can swim better than Harold Holt.

          • Foersom

            Sharks, add guard-sharks around those offshore turbines. 😉

    • Foersom

      Floating wind turbines are a speciality and even more expensive than offshore with foundation. Remember that the floating foundation under water has to be heavier than all the turbine tower above water. The drawing in the article is “not to scale”.

      Floating models are only interesting for very deep waters.

      • Jenny Sommer

        Not when you lose the towers.
        The towers are the problem.
        Naturally we would not need blades either.
        A wind plant could operate from any swimming platform as long as it floats the generator.

        • Foersom

          My reply will appear as soon as CleanTechnica will approve the link as harmless.

          How many times does one have to post on CleanTechnica to be able to post with links directly, without waiting for a “Net Nanny’s” approval?

      • Bob_Wallace

        Do you have some numbers?

        I can’t find any cost comparisons for floaters vs. fixed tower.

        • Foersom

          Sorry I cannot find a cost comparison.

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