Total announced that it has expanded its interest in floating offshore wind, entering the sector in France with a 20% stake in the Eolmed floating wind farm pilot project.
The 30 MW project, located in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Gruissan, is being developed by independent power producer Qair (formerly the Lucia Holding Group), which remains the majority shareholder.
Total’s investment in the Eolmed project represents a continuation of the company’s expansion into the emerging market of floating offshore wind. Earlier this summer, the company announced that it was partnering with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) on the development of a portfolio of floating offshore wind projects in Korea, including 5 projects totalling 2.3 GW of capacity.
Julien Pouget, Director Renewables of Total, said:
“This announcement once again demonstrates the Group’s ambition and willingness to innovate in the field of renewable energies. Floating offshore wind is a very promising segment in which Total notably brings its extensive experience in offshore projects. Together with our partner Qair, we have the necessary resources to meet the technological and financial challenges that will determine our future success. I am delighted that Total can contribute to the emergence of this new sector in France.“
The development of the floating offshore wind market marks a significant step forward for renewable energy generation. According to Qair, while offshore wind energy has so far developed mainly in shallow water, by installing wind turbines directly on the sea bottom, floating offshore wind enables access to sites at great depths or further from the coasts, taking advantage of otherwise unexploitable wind resources, with less impact on the landscape.
Louis Blanchard, CEO of Qair, said:
“The Eolmed project is at the heart of the Occitanie Region’s strategy for the development of renewable energies, actively supported by local partners. It also demonstrates Qair’s ambition to become a major player in floating offshore wind energy in Europe. By joining forces with a renowned French industrial partner for this innovative project developed by our teams since 2016, Qair is strengthening its technical expertise for the realisation of the Eolmed project and for future floating wind projects.”