France’s energy minister Segolene Royal has announced competitive tendering for 3GW of onshore wind power to be allocated in a rolling programme over the next three years.

The first auction slated to take place in November 2017 with two each in 2018 and 2019, and another single window in 2020. It applies to arrays of more than six wind turbines and will comprise six bidding windows of 500 MW apiece.
Segolene Royal
Competitive tenders are being introduced as part of the transition to a market mechanism in place of the guaranteed premium purchase price, as required under EU guidelines on state aid.

The government has proposed a reference price of €72/MWh for turbines with rotor diameters over 100 metres, and €74/MW for those with under 80 metres, with a sliding scale, and over a period of 20 years, instead of 15 years previously. 

According to Wind Power Monthly, after a certain number of production hours, depending on the rotor size and wind resource, the rate will fall to €40/MWh for the remainder of the contract period. This is to allow for development of less windy sites and those where the air force imposes height restrictions. In addition, producers will receive a “management premium” of €2.8/MWh to compensate for the additional market-access costs.