Aix-Marseille-Provence, a Land of Innovation and Production for Offshore Wind Energy

Aix-Marseille-Provence, a Land of Innovation and Production for Offshore Wind Energy
The Provence Grand Large floating offshore wind pilot project is situated 17 kilometers off the coast of Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône
11 April 2024 / Eco-industries, Energy, invest in provence

Exciting projects will be unveiled at FOWT 2024

As the Aix-Marseille-Provence metro area strengthens its position in the marine renewable energy sector, it will also host this year’s FOWT offshore wind energy trade fair from 24 to 26 April 2024 at the Palais du Pharo in Marseille. Offshore wind energy offers a promising alternative to fossil fuels and represents significant potential for economic development. Start-ups, consultancies, manufacturers, and scientists specializing in marine energies are focusing on the sector. With the Fast-Tracking Renewable Energy Production Act (APER) that was passed by the French government in March 2023, local authorities have an increasingly important role in the green energy market. Two significant projects in the Aix-Marseille-Provence are emblematic of the new dynamic behind renewable energy: the Provence Grand Large offshore wind turbine site and the DEOS initiative to develop the offshore wind energy sector at the Port of Marseille Fos. Visitors to the FOWT trade show will be able to visit these sites.

Thanks to more constant winds and more powerful turbines, offshore wind turbines outperform land-based wind turbines. Although their initial cost is higher, they produce 60% more electricity, making them a promising investment for the future.

On 4 February 2024, the Port of Marseille Fos announced that it was investing €550 million to diversify its activities into offshore wind energy in the Fos-sur-Mer industrial port zone. The DEOS project is an ambitious undertaking and will have an 80-hectare site. It will feature the following facilities:

  • areas dedicated to the construction of concrete or steel floating platforms;
  • terminals adapted to the delivery and logistics for large parts;
  • an assembly site for the various components;
  • and even an on-sea storage area to store the floating wind turbines until they can be transferred to offshore operating sites.

A leading hub in the Mediterranean for floating wind turbines

The DEOS project is designed to meet demand from both the French national market and the Mediterranean basin, as well as from certain neighboring countries with limited port infrastructure. Maintenance activities are planned and the project also includes facilities for dismantling the turbines at the end of their operational life. The Port of Marseille Fos hopes to have the infrastructure in place by 2028 to ensure the production of 25 wind turbines a year, and 50 floats could be produced annually by combining the capacities of the new facility on the DEOS site with those of Eiffage Métal.

To date, France has just one offshore wind farm in full electric production that is located in Saint-Nazaire, but a series of other offshore facilities are currently being planned or are under construction.

Provence Grand Large: The wind farm will soon be connected to the electricity grid

In Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, which is west of Marseille, the first wind turbine was successfully assembled in July 2023 by teams from Provence Grand Large and its partners Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and SBM Offshore. In October, the three floating wind turbines were completed and then towed offshore and anchored at a depth of 100 meters. This was a world first for float technology with tension leg anchors (TLP). Because of the complex technical demands, this marked a major step forward both for the project itself and for the offshore wind energy sector as a whole.

The three floating offshore wind turbines, which each have a capacity of 8.4 MW, will generate the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 45 000 inhabitants. The process of connecting them to the grid via undersea cables is currently underway. The commissioning and start of operations are expected in the first half of this year.

Selected for the “Investments of the Future” program by ADEME, the French agency for the environment and energy transition, Provence Grand Large is supported by the European Commission, the Sud Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, and the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Authority as well as numerous local and industrial partners. The total cost of the project (development, construction, operation) is €200 million.

FOWT 2024
from 24 to 26 April 2024 at the Palais du Pharo in Marseille

FOWT is the world’s leading event dedicated to floating offshore wind energy. It aims to move the industry forward and accelerate the integration of renewable energies by facilitating discussions between the various actors and stakeholders in this emerging industry. Four French regions are partners for the event: Pays de la Loire, Brittany, Occitanie, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

The Marseille edition is organized by the Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region and the Pôle Mer Méditerranée blue economy hub. It is expected to attract more than 1200 participants from 30 different countries. Under the banner of the One Provence brand, Provence Promotion will be present on the stand of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Authority and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aix-Marseille-Provence to identify projects and promote the territory to potential investors.

 >Your contact at Provence Promotion: Gayané Shahinyan


Technical tours on 26 April (registration fee):

  • Provence Grand Large with EDF
  • The western basins of the Port of Marseille with Eiffage Métal

More information:

Useful links
- FOWT 2024 program (in English)
- The APER law (English PDF)
- The DEOS project (French PDF)
- Provence Grand Large offshore windfarm (French)