France initiated the bidding process for nearly 3,000 MW of offshore wind projects that could cost about $12.7 billion to develop. The country plans to set aside five to 10 offshore areas that have been evaluated for their environmental compatibility. The zones are still being studied and no decision has been made about which will be included in the tenders. The tender process will evaluate the engineering costs of each project in order to set the price at which power from these projects can be sold to French utilities.
French natural gas network GDF Suez SA is already planning a €1.8 billion 705-MW wind park about 14 km offshore Le Treport in northern France, which is being assessed for its environmental impact. Other sites also considered favourable include one near Utah beach in Normandy and areas off Britanny and Languedoc-Roussillon in the Mediterranean Sea. The government is targeting 6,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020.