France to tender 1.35 GW of rooftop Solar

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Slow and steady wins the race, or it certainly keeps you in the race. This has been the French approach to the solar industry over the last few years, and it’s kept the country’s PV capacity steadily rising, while other European markets have capitulated. The most recent tender schemes are indicative of this approach, giving the industry a consistent level of activity; for the next three years at least.

French energy minister Segolene Royal made the announcement on her Twitter account on Tuesday, confirming that there would be a total of 1.35 GW of rooftop PV tendered during three rounds over the next three years. Each tender will auction 450 MW of rooftop solar plants, and they will take place on an annual basis.

According to kiloWattsol CEO and President Xavier Daval, the maximum size of the rooftop projects that can enter the tender will be 250 KW, but also that much of this information had already been known. “The announcement is really just a consummation of what had previously been said, but the confirmation is definitely positive news,” explained to pv magazine.

Daval also explained that remuneration for the electricity generated by the systems would be two-fold; it would be based on the agreed price during the bidding process and on the average market price of energy at the time of generation.

France’s solar aims

France has added a total of 336 MW of solar capacity to its grid in the first half of 2016, bringing its total installed capacity to approximately 6.9 GW. The country’s PV targets were revised last year, and the government is currently discussing its new annual energy plan, but for the time being it is hoping to reach 10.2 GW of installed PV by 2018 and 20.2 GW by 2023.

To achieve this, the government announced that 3 GW of ground-mounted solar would be auctioned during six rounds of tenders over the next three years; each with 500 MW up for grabs. This will allow the industry to consistently grow in that time period.

“All solar sectors are now covered by a reasonable chunk of tenders,” continued Daval. “A series of tenders, which represents a pipeline of tenders over the next 3 years, which is big, as it allows the industry to forecast for the next three years and will encourage investment.”