French tender: 349 rooftop PV projects totaling 80 MW

France’s Ministry of Energy, Ecology and Sustainable Development published this week the list of the 349 winning projects regarding the installation of a cumulative 80 MW of PV capacity on rooftops and solar carports.

The tender was originally announced a year ago, in March 2015, and is the third tender for this kind of projects launched by the French ministry. Previous tenders of this kind were launched in July 2011 and March 2013.

The tender, launched in March 2015, increased the cumulative tendered capacity up to 240 MW of solar PV projects, from 120 MW of PV capacity, first announced in March 2013.

Tender details

The auction of 240 MW PV capacity launched last year comprises specifically three tranches each totaling 80 MW. The results of the first trance were announced on Wednesday of this week. Bids for the second trance expire on 21st March 2016 and bids for the third trance run between 22nd March to 21st July 2016, at 2pm local French time.

The 349 projects awarded by the French ministry will receive a feed-in tariff (FIT) of €139/MWh (US$156.4). This represents a 9% reduction compared to the March 2013 tender for the same type of solar facilities, corresponding to the lower cost of the technology.

The selected projects, which will be connected to the grid in the years 2016 to 2017, represent an investment of €130 million ($146.4 million) and will produce 100 GWh of green electricity each year, said the ministry.

The development of new solar capacity is a priority of the energy transition program promoted by the Ministry of Energy, Ecology and Sustainable Development.

On the contrary, the selection of the projects based on project carbon footprint criteria has been controversial and has raised concerns that France is trying to indirectly promote the local PV industry.

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