The trio developing the EolMed floating wind array off France has pressed the button with a final investment decision on the pioneering 30W project in the Mediterranean Sea.

The project consortium, made up of TotalEnergies, Qair and BW Ideol, which is supplying a trio of its damping pool foundations for the wind farm’s 10MW Vestas turbines, expects to have EolMed online next year, 15km off Gruissan.

BW Ideol, which late last year took a 5% stake in the pre-commercial demonstrator project, said EolMed was part of the company’s “dual-leg growth strategy as a floater EPCI and maintenance services provider and as a wind-farm project developer and co-owner”.

BW Ideol has two utility-scale floating wind units in operation, off France and Japan, along with project pipeline including 1GW under development in Scotland with developer BayWa re and Elicio, and a 40MW-plus pilot off California in the US Pacific entering the environmental assessment stage.

TotalEnergies, which bought into EolMed in 2020, has put offshore wind at the heart of its energy transition strategy, with large acreage plays in Europe, Asia and the US, and floating-specific developments off the UK and US.

DNV forecasts floating wind projects to make up over 15% of the total offshore wind deployment in the pipeline for switch-on by mid-century worldwide, some 264GW of the total 1,748GW foreseen installed.