Iberdrola SA won the bid to build the world’s largest onshore wind energy project in Romania with a capacity of 1,500 MW and requiring an investment of at least $2 billion. Work on the first 600 MW of capacity is scheduled to start this year and is due to finish in 2016-2017. Iberdrola also undertook a separate project of 80 MW, which is expected to complete by mid-2011.
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.
UK’s energy market regulator, Ofgem opened the second round of tendering for high-voltage transmission links worth £1.9 billion for six offshore wind projects. Winning tenders for the first links will be announced in summer 2011. This is the second tender round in the offshore transmission regime, which is a joint policy initiative between the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Ofgem, to encourage cost-effective investment in the vital network links between the offshore wind farms and the mainland grid. Companies will be competing for the right to own and operate the links to 2.8 GW of offshore wind farms for the next 20 years.