Greece to tender PV capacity in December

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Greece’s energy regulator (RAE) led a seminar on Friday, which presented the regulatory framework of the forthcoming pilot tender for additional solar PV capacity. RAE announced at the seminar that the pilot tender will take place on 12 December 2016.

Competition is expected to be tight. RAE said on Friday that there are about 130 MW of PV projects that have already received grid connection licenses over the past few years – this is before Greece suspended the approval process for new PV systems in 2012. Those investors that do not own a grid connection license, but have been offered one in the past, will still be allowed to compete in the upcoming tender, as long as they provide RAE with the necessary guarantees from a financial institution. As a result of this rule, a further 23 MW of PV projects are expected to participate in the December tender. And there are yet more projects that fall into an entirely separate category, the so-called “fast-track” category, which includes about 350 MW of PV projects that have also received licenses over the past few years. So overall, the pilot tender regards old projects that did not materialize due to the sudden policy change in 2012.

By the end of this week, RAE will publish the criteria upon which it will select the applicants eligible to participate in the tender. In the meantime, investors need to apply online to guarantee the right to participate in the tender, with an application fee set at €500. RAE will review the applications and confirm which investors satisfy the selection criteria and which do not.

The tender will run online and the results are set to be announced on the same day.

The following information is known regarding the details of the tender:

• The pilot tender will comprise two categories: firstly, plants with a maximum capacity 1 MW each; and secondly, plants between 1 MW and 10 MW. December’s tender will not consider solar farms larger than 10 MW each.

• RAE did not specify the capacity to be tendered. It only said this will be at least 40 MW and added that the first category (plants smaller than 1 MW) will account for up to 20 percent of the overall tendered capacity.

• Successful PV projects that are smaller than 1 MW will be obligated to be connected to the grid in the 18 months after the tender. Similarly, successful PV farms that are larger than 1 MW will be given a 24-months period to connect to the grid.

• Winners of the tender will need to participate in the energy market and will receive a variable premium, on top of the standard market price for the generated green power. The amount of the premium for renewable power plants will depend on market variables (e.g. the system’s marginal price) and a tariff set via the tender. The feed-in premium will be valid for 20 years.

• The pilot tender will not allow bids over €94 per MWh for projects that need to go through a new licensing round. For projects that have already been awarded a license, investors can bid up to €104 per MWh.

• The pilot tender will not allow bids over €94 per MWh for projects larger than 1 MW and bids over €104 per MWh for projects less than 1 MW.