France awards two floating wind farm tenders
It was announced today that EolMed, a consortium led by French clean energy developer Quadran, has won a tender for a 24MW pilot floating offshore wind farm in the French Mediterranean Sea.
The project will consist of four turbines located 15km off the coast at Gruissan. ADEME, France’s environment and energy management agency, launched a tender for four offshore wind farm sites last year.
A consortium of French offshore wind developer Eolfi and Chinese nuclear firm CGN won the second tender for a four-turbine floating wind farm off the island of Groix, Brittany.
The Gruissan project will be installed and commissioned in 2020. Germany’s Senvion SE will provide an adapted version of its 6.2M152 turbine, which boasts a rotor diameter of 152m and the ability to provide energy to 4,000 homes. EolMed will supply the floating foundation for the turbines.
General Electric will provide the turbines for the Groix project, with French naval group DCNS and Vinci Construction supplying the foundation.
Floating wind turbines can be installed further out to sea than their ‘fixed’ counterparts, allowing them to harvest stronger winds.
France is aiming to have 3,000MW of offshore wind capacity installed by 2023, with 100MW generated by floating turbines. The winners for the two remaining floating wind sites will be announced in September.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.