The European Commission (EC) has agreed to support four floating demonstration windfarms in offshore France.
EC identified that the four French projects have the potential to promote electricity generation from renewable wind energy were in line with EU state aid rules.
Four French projects that have been approved by the commission include the Groix Belle Ile project, which will be in the Atlantic Ocean. The other three projects are Golf du Lion, Eolmed and Provence Grand Large, which will all be in the Mediterranean Sea.
As part of this initiative, the demonstration windfarms will receive both investment and operating aid. Part of investment aid will be paid in the form of repayable advances.
The turbines will be installed in the sea on floaters and will be interconnected with each other, then connected to land by an underwater cable.
Each demonstration floating windfarm will consist of three to four turbines and have a total installed capacity of 24MW.
EC said that the objective of public support is to test these different technological solutions. The long-term goal is to prove this technology with tests, before deploying it on a larger scale.
By supporting the demonstration farms, the commission is expected to contribute towards EU energy and climate goals without unduly distorting competition in the single market.
In May 2017, the EC approved three schemes to support electricity generation from small-scale onshore wind, solar, and sewage gas installations in France.
These schemes will enable France to develop more than 17GW of additional renewable energy. A recent report by EU statistical agency Eurostat found that France was one of the countries furthest away from its 2020 renewable energy targets. As of 2017 renewables formed 16.3% of France’s energy mix, 6.7% below its target of 23% for 2020.