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11/01/2012Firms make 10 bids for huge French wind farm project: source
French and Spanish companies have put in 10 bids to build hundreds of wind turbines off France's Atlantic coast and in the English Channel, a source close to the project said on Wednesday.
The bids come from consortiums put together by French energy giants EDF and GDF and Spanish utility Iberdrola, the source told AFP.
"Four consortiums are in competition for the five sites to be attributed, with 10 bids handed in, an average of two competitive offers per site," the source said.
The project calls for the installation of 500 to 600 offshore turbines which would be capable of producing up to 3,000 Megawatts of electricity by 2015.
The tender for the project closes on Wednesday and the government is expected to announce the winners in April.
France, which produces 75 percent of its electricity through nuclear energy, is investing 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in wind power, with plans to build 1,200 offshore turbines capable of producing 6,000 Megawatts by 2020.
The government has vowed to increase the share of renewable resources, including wind and solar, to 23 percent of national production by 2020.
France, the world's most nuclear-dependent country, operates 58 atomic reactors.
But the country's reliance on nuclear power has been increasingly called into question since the Fukushima disaster in Japan, which prompted neighbouring Germany to announce plans to shut all of its reactors by the end of 2022.
© 2012 AFP
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