France doubles large-scale PV solicitation to 800 MW

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The government of France has begun taking the language of its German neighbors, citing the Energy Transition as a policy goal. In this theme, on Thursday Energy Minister Ségolène Royal and President François Hollande announced that the nation was adding another 400 MW of available capacity in a solicitation for PV projects larger than 250 kW.

France’s Ministry of Energy, Ecology and Sustainable Development (MEDDE) says 2 GW of bids were filed for only 200 MW of capacity, and further that the prices being offered had fallen for the first time to a level comparable with wind generation

Both ground and roof-mounted projects are eligible to bid under the CR3 tender. Solar projects on farmland are prohibited, and special consideration will be given to projects on brownfields and degraded land. MEDDE says that it will announce winners of the auction in "coming weeks," and that projects will have two years to be completed.

France similarly doubled the capacity of an auction for mid-sized solar PV to 240 MW in July. The current government’s embrace of the "Energy Transition" and attempts to put limits on nuclear power make for difficult politics in the nation, whose large nuclear industry has traditionally had strong ties to the government.