The European Commission (EU) has given the green light to a French state aid package of €10.82bn ($11.6bn) to bolster offshore wind energy projects.

The move is part of a broader effort to support renewable energy and transition towards a more sustainable future.

The approved aid will facilitate the construction and operation of two bottom-fixed offshore wind farms in France.

Under the State Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF), adopted in March 2023, the French scheme aligns with the conditions set out by the commission.

Spanning two decades, this financial support will aid the development of a wind farm in the South Atlantic zone and another in the Centre Manche 2 zone in Normandy.

The South Atlantic wind farm will have a capacity of between 1 and 1.2GW, with an anticipated annual generation of at least 3.9 terawatt hours (TWh) of renewable electricity.

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The Normandy wind farm will have a capacity between 1.4 and 1.6GW. It is expected to produce at least 6.1TWh of renewable electricity annually.

European Commission executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager stated: “With this €10.82 billion scheme, France can deploy offshore wind capacities faster, in line with the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy.

“It will also help France reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, while ensuring that any potential competition distortions are kept to the minimum.”

The financial aid will be provided through a monthly variable premium under a two-way contract for difference model.

The selection process for beneficiaries will be competitive, with one successful applicant for each offshore zone.

Iberdrola commissioned the 496MW Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm in France through its subsidiary Ailes Marines in May 2024.