Floating wind deals set to soar as pilot learnings pay off in France

Floating wind deals set to soar as pilot learnings pay off in France

November 8, 2017  Michelle Froese : 0 Comments

Editor’s note: This article comes from New Energy Update, and is written by Kerry Chamberlain. The full version can be read here.

Just ahead of France’s first floating offshore wind tender, developers such as Ideol are using global design learnings from a range of site conditions to lower capital costs of floating offshore wind projects.

October was a significant month for the floating wind sector. Statoil officially opened the world’s first commercial-scale floating plant, while France opened the 2-MW Floatgen facility on the Atlantic coast, the country’s first offshore wind farm.

Commercial floating wind projects are to be commissioned in UK, Ireland, France, and Portugal in the coming years and developers expect wider deployment to drive down costs as projects benefit from installation experience, economies of series and rising investor confidence.

Bottom fixed offshore wind (BFOW) costs have fallen dramatically in recent years, but an estimated 80% of offshore wind resources are in water depths of over 60 meters, where BFOW projects are not suitable. This equates to 4 TW of offshore capacity exclusively available to floating projects, according to industry group WindEurope.

Statoil aims to reduce the cost of floating wind power to 40 to 60 euros per MWh by 2030 and the learnings from the completed 30-MW Hywind Scotland project will open up new global market opportunities, Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of Statoil’s New Energy Solutions division, said in a statement.

“Floating offshore wind is expected to play a significant role in the growth of offshore wind going forward,” Rummelhoff said.

France’s time

France has emerged as a leading floating offshore wind market. Floatgen, the country’s first floating wind plant, was completed on October 13, ahead of six larger BFOW projects which have been held back by delays linked to permitting issues and a heavy emphasis on local content.

Floating wind deals set to soar as pilot learnings pay off in France

Floatgen was a collaboration of seven European groups, including French floating wind technology supplier Ideol and industrial group Bouygues.

Wind industry group France Energie Eolienne (FEE) has set a target of 6-GW floating offshore wind capacity by 2030 and has urged the government to launch a tender for 2 GW of floating capacity next year. The projects could be commissioned from 2024, according to FEE.

“The French FOW market has enormous potential since there is a clear political will,” Bruno Geschier, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer at Ideol, said.

“Talking to all the stakeholders involved I can clearly see that 6 GW is not at all unrealistic, with the capacity split between three projects in the Mediterranean and three off the Atlantic coast,” Geschier said.

The government is yet to confirm a timeline for the commercial tender but France’s Environment and Energy Management Agency confirmed to New Energy Update that pre-tender activities are underway. SOURCE: WPE

Read the full article here.

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