The French government has been given permission by the European Commission to provide state aid for the construction of a gas-fired power plant.
Compagnie Electrique de Bretagne (CEB) won a tender in 2012 for the Landivisiau power plant in Brittany that included a subsidy of €94 000/MW/year for 20 years.
The European Commission has approved the subsidy because it is deemed necessary to address electricity supply and network issues in Brittany. “The construction of the Landivisiau power plant in Brittany will help making sure that there are no electricity blackouts in Brittany,” said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. “At the same time competition on the electricity market is preserved. The Commission has worked closely with France to ensure that support for the construction of the power plant is in line with EU state aid rules.”
CEB, a consortium of Direct Energie and Siemens, has undertaken a commitment to ensure that the plant is available for electricity generation when required by the network operator. The electricity network in Brittany is susceptible to voltage control issues because of its location far away from power generation plant.
The Commission included in its approval a condition that CEB cannot sell output from the Landivisiau power plant through long-term contracts to any company with a share of over 40 per cent of the French electricity-generation capacity market. This measure would prevent distortion of the electricity market in France, it said.