Dong climbs onboard with EDF for French offshore wind tender

Dong has signed a partnership deal with EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF-EN) for the upcoming French offshore wind tender, as the Danish utility scrambles to line up a project pipeline for beyond 2015.

With Dong described as its “exclusive partner”, EDF-EN says the two groups will “combine their skills and their investment capacities within a common structure” for the tender, whose full terms will be published early this month.

EDF-EN will act as majority owner of any projects won. The utility hopes to win 1.5GW of the 3GW up for grabs in the French offering, with Alstom already lined up as its exclusive turbine supplier.

Dong is the world’s leading offshore wind developer ahead of number two Vattenfall, having installed more than 1GW of capacity at 12 operational projects.

It has another 1.3GW under construction, including the London Array and extensions at Burbo Bank and Walney in the UK.

In a surprise result, Dong was the big loser in the UK’s Round 3, winning no zones despite its unmatched experience in the sector.

The company subsequently explained to Recharge its belief that its immense short-term project pipeline, and the construction timeline it imposes on the company, ultimately sank its bid.

It has also acknowledged it is on the hunt for a stake in Round 3 project in the UK.

A role in the French offshore wind round would give it a project portfolio extending into the second half of the decade.

EDF-EN says partnering with Dong for the French tender will “guarantee the technical and financial” resources needed are in place for the tender.

“We are very happy to be working with a well known European partner on the forthcoming call for tender in France, and to combine its longstanding experience in offshore wind energy with our own,” says EDF-EN chief operating officer Yvon André.

Last week Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables announced it will bid for the Saint-Brieuc and Saint-Nazaire zones in partnership with French turbine maker Areva.

Areva also has a separate agreement with utility GDF Suez to bid for the remaining zones.