33 successful bids in second German PV tender

The Federal Network Agency has deemed 33 bids totaling 159.74 MW successful under its second pilot PV tender call for ground-mounted projects. Overall, the tender was oversubscribed four-fold, with 136 bids applying to install 558 MW.

Unlike the first PV tender round, the number of projects awarded has slightly increased, from 22 totaling 157 MW. Multi project bids were said to have been particularly successful.

The unit price to be paid for the generated solar energy has not yet been published by the agency, which has to wait and see whether there will be any replacement candidates. This would occur when the successful bidders do not pay the second security deposit by September 1. "If, for bids where the amount totals more than 30 MW, no second security deposit is secured, the Federal Network Agency then looks for a replacement candidate," said the agency.

This round saw 15 bids excluded due to errors – more to do with individual faults as opposed to missing documents – which was significantly less than in the first tender where 37 had to be ruled out.

"The high participation is a good sign for the [Germany’s] energy transition," said vice president of the Federal Network Agency, Peter Franke. He added, "Additionally, the second round shows that even supposedly less professional plant operators are able to make affordable offers and be successful."

The full list of successful bidders has been published on the agency’s website. In addition to experienced project companies like Wattner, IBC Solar and Enerparc, energy companies including EnBW and Eon were awarded projects.

Criticism

Germany’s solar association, BSW-Solar, criticized the low volume of the tender rounds. In light of repeated failed PV targets, it is incomprehensible that only a fraction of solar parks will receive a tariff, said CEO, Carsten Körnig. He is asking for the awarded capacities to be doubled, in order to avoid incurring additional costs.

Additionally, it is not clear how high the realization rates of the successful projects will be, continued Körnig. "Germany remains far behind its potential to produce cheap renewable electricity using photovoltaic technology," he stated, adding, "With the existing framework, the federal government will not meet its installation targets for solar power and, thus, its climate targets."

Like in 2014, the solar association expects Germany to fail again in meeting the government-planned annual PV target of 2.5 GW.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz