Engie, EDP Renewables, Caisse des Depots and Eiffage have submitted their pilot floating wind farm proposal to ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

This partnership between experienced marine energy actors is positioned in the Mediterranean (Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenees Region) to provide support for development of the French floating wind turbine industry. Closely designed with local players, this project will immediately create lasting economic activity. Based on innovative technology developed in France, the project represents a decisive step in the development of a highly promising renewable national marine energy resource and an encouraging vector for exports.

From the proposed project areas, they chose the Leucate site on the Mediterranean, France’s highly regarded marine wind energy resource characterized by exceptional winds. Their project "Les eoliennes flottantes du golfe du Lion" is well integrated into the region and benefits from its partners’ solid experience in offshore renewable energy and major infrastructure projects.

The installation will include 3 to 6 wind turbines of a minimum of 6 MW each. They will be joined with an integrated semi-submersible type floating foundation proposed by Eiffage Metal. The concept developed by Principle Power in its Aix-en-Provence engineering center represents the most promising technology on the market today and has been tested off the coast of Portugal since 2011. Eiffage Metal will manufacture and install the floats.

Armed with significant innovations, the project constitutes a decisive phase that anticipates the floating turbine sector’s industrialization in France and abroad. Indeed, the promising floating turbine technology offers the advantage of being installed in areas of high winds and in deep seas far from the coastline. The Mediterranean coastal areas of France are highly favorable to the development of this seaborne renewable energy. With this call for tenders, France joins Japan, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom, which have already embarked upon this technology.

With its launch, the project will immediately create lasting economic activity. To provide the main components of the project’s pre-commercial facilities, the joint venture will call upon a network of French businesses along the Mediterranean coast, particularly in the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrenees region. The region’s port infrastructure will be used for assembly and maintenance operations and will provide the main components of the pre-commercial facilities.

The objective is for this pre-commercial phase to provide key experience to help ensure the success of future commercial developments, not only for the industrial field but also for the many associated stakeholders. The project has been developed and will continue to be developed in full cooperation with all the regional players, local governments and users of the sea, marine facilities, non-profits, and coastal residents. The partners share a commitment to design and put together an innovative, exemplary project from the industrial, socio-economic and environmental perspectives.