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EDF, Dong, Alstom Form Pact for French $14 Billion Wind Plan

EDF Energies Nouvelles SA, Dong Energy A/S and Alstom SA agreed to join in the 10 billion-euro ($14 billion) French offshore wind plan aimed at boosting the nation’s clean energy sources and domestic industry.

The companies said in statement they’d pool expertise and investment alongside Nass&Wind Offshore, the French developer of wind at sea, Poweo ENR, a unit of renewables company Poweo and Wpd Offshore, an arm of the German wind company. They were responding to bidding France opened today.

France gets 38 percent of its electricity from atomic plants, the most in the world, and is seeking to boost renewable energy such as solar and wind. The country, which has no offshore wind power now, proposes to install 6,000 megawatts, or about 1,200 wind turbines, by 2020.

“In addition to the evolution of the energy mix in France, the aim is to build a French industry sector and become a leader in offshore wind and marine renewable energies,” Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said in the statement.

Today, the government began accepting proposals for the plan to build five the projects with a combined capacity of 3 gigawatts. It’s seeking to generate 23 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Energy Minister Eric Besson said the program would support more than 10,000 jobs.

Bidding Group

EDF Energies is founder of the consortium formed to propose five of the projects for the tender to be held by five dedicated companies, the statement said. Alstom will supply the offshore wind turbines and plans to build an industrial and technological “hub” in France for the generators, blades and nacelles if the consortium wins sufficient volumes, according to the statement.

Energy companies including GDF Suez SA, Vinci SA and Areva SA also say they plan to work on the project.

France will open a second round in April 2012, according to the statement, with ministers beginning a consultation to locate zones for that segment. Candidates must submit proposals for the first round by Jan. 11 followed by pre-selection in April.

Creating Alliances

A final decision is due in 2013 after risk and feasibility assessments, according to the statement, while the farms are scheduled to come into service from 2015 to 2020. Winning bids will be chosen on criteria including the price of electricity, and social “quality” of the wind farm such as job creation.

Companies have been creating alliances in preparation for the bidding. Areva, the world’s biggest maker of nuclear equipment, and Iberdrola Renovables SA are among companies that have agreed to seek to jointly develop the projects.

Areva, which makes wind turbines, also signed an accord to bid together for as much as 1,750 megawatts of the offshore wind farms with the French energy producer GDF Suez SA and Vinci.

EDF Energies Nouvelles SA, based in Paris, and Alstom SA signed an agreement on Jan. 19 to develop facilities.

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