EDF, GDF Suez and Iberdrola are going head-to-head in a fight to secure the rights to build the first offshore wind farms in France.

The three companies are leading separate industrial consortia that are bidding for a share in five projects worth an estimated €10 billion. The five wind farms will result in the construction of up to 600 wind turbines off the Normandy and Brittany coasts.

Both EDF and GDF Suez are bidding for four of the five developments, while Iberdrola is bidding for two sites in Brittany. A decision on the 3000 MW bidding round will be announced by the French regulator in April.

EDF and GDF Suez will compete head-to-head on three of the bids. EDF is teaming up with Alstom on all of its bids, while Iberdrola is teamed with Areva. GDF Suez is working with Areva on three bids and Siemens on one.

The first offshore wind plants will be commissioned in 2015. They form a key part of France’s strategy to boost its green credentials and catch up with Germany and the UK in the renewable energy industry.