BayWa r.e., the renewables arm of Germany-based BayWa, and Belgian developer Elicio have secured a contract to build a 270MW floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Lorient in Brittany, France.

The Pennavel project is the world’s first commercial floating wind farm to be awarded a long-term contract for difference.

It will become a key component of Brittany’s energy infrastructure, projected to produce 30% of the region’s current renewable energy output.

The project has secured a grid connection through French transmission system operator RTE, ensuring the integration of the offshore substation and export cables.

The selection is the culmination of a competitive call for tenders that began in 2021 for a floating offshore wind project with a capacity of 230–270MW.

Elicio CEO Alain Janssens stated: “Elicio brings a unique set of collective and individual skills to this consortium; and we are extremely pleased that this has been recognised with the award of the AO5 tender.

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“Armed with our pioneering experience in offshore and building on our successful onshore wind track record in France, we are confident that we will contribute to the success of competitive floating offshore projects in France, combining sound project execution with a unique local footprint.

“Elicio is proud to add this French project to its extensive portfolio of offshore wind projects in Belgium and Scotland.”

To involve the local population, the project will offer investment opportunities through crowdfunding.

Its construction phase will generate 4.5 million working hours, with 30 permanent jobs anticipated once it is operational.

BayWa r.e. CEO Matthias Taft stated: “We are delighted by the decision of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, which recognises the huge commitment and quality of the work carried out by the BayWa r.e. and Elicio teams.

“It is a proud moment for the consortium, and as we begin a new chapter for BayWa r.e. in the floating offshore industry, we are excited to be working on such a game-changing project, which will act as a reference point for future floating wind farms across the globe.” 

The Pennavel project aligns with the French Government’s plans to commission 50 offshore wind farms by 2050 and achieve a power generation capacity of 45GW.

It is the second floating wind project for the two companies in Europe following the 960MW Buchan floating offshore wind farm project offshore north-east Scotland, which is being developed with a third partner.