The European Commission has approved a €4.12bn ($4.44bn) scheme to support the rollout of two offshore floating wind farms in France.
The scheme was approved under the EU’s state aid for temporary crisis and transition framework.
It aligns with the Green Deal Industrial Plan, launched in February 2023, which aims to support a swift transition to climate neutrality.
France will use the €4.12bn to build and operate two offshore floating wind farms in the Golfe du Lion.
Each will have a capacity of 230–280MW capacity and will generate 1.1 terawatt-hours of clean electricity annually.
Two beneficiaries will be chosen in 2024 through a non-discriminatory bidding process.
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The aid will be calculated by comparing a reference price determined in the beneficiary’s tender offer with the market price for electricity.
Where the market price is lower than the reference price, the beneficiary will be entitled to receive payment.
Where the market price is higher than the reference price, the beneficiary will pay the difference to the French authorities.
Aid will be provided where a scheme sets out an appropriate estimated volume and budget, and will be granted before 31 December 2025.
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders stated: “This €4.12bn scheme will allow France to accelerate the deployment of renewable offshore wind capacities, in line with the EU’s offshore renewable energy strategy.
“The scheme will also help France reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, in line with the REPowerEU Plan, while ensuring that any potential competition distortions are kept to the minimum.”