French CR3 800 MW tender winners announced

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France’s PV sector continues to show modest growth and price digressions, with the latest CR3 tender being awarded to 212 bidders, with projects expected to attract €1 billion ($1.08 billion) in investment. The full list of tender winners is available here.

Price digressions, in comparison to the previous tender awarded 20 months previous, stand at 23% for ground mounts, 18% for large rooftops and 15% for solar carports and shade structures.

In a most positive sign, France’s Energy Minister Ségolène Royal confirmed that a new solar tender will be released in early 2016. The announcement of the tender results was timed to coincide with the COP21.

There has previously been some frustration within the French PV sector with delays to the rollout of tenders. It now seems as if a more regular schedule has not been established.

In a press release announcing the tender results, Energy Minister Royal indicated that 50% of the modules required for the projects would be manufactured in France. From which production facilities the modules could be sourced is unclear as French module supplier Upsolar employs a fabless manufacturing strategy utilizing suppliers in Asia, First Solar cancelled its manufacturing plans for France some years ago and local producer Soitec supplies high-efficiency cells for concentrated PV arrays, suited for high irradiation environments.

The capacity tendered under CR3 had previously been doubled by the government after it received around 2 GW of applications, at prices that rival onshore wind.

Projects will have to be completed within two years to receive the announced FIT.