Poland to hold inaugural 100 MW solar auction later this month


Poland is to hold its first ever solar power auction later this month, kicking off tender process that will deliver 400 MW of PV capacity to the country.

According to pv magazine sources, the first 100 MW tranche of solar capacity will be auctioned by the Ministry of Energy on December 30, with an additional 300 MW of capacity released in 2017 and a 2020 goal of 1 GW of PV tendered under auction.

This month’s inaugural auction will invite bids for solar projects up to 1 MW in size, said Piotr Paj?k from Polish renewable energy news platform Gramwzielone.pl. A ceiling price of PLN 465/MWh ($110.5/MWh) has been set by the Ministry, with support granted for 15 years.

Details of next year’s auction process remain sketchy, but the Ministry has confirmed that it will auction capacity once more for solar plants sized at 1 MW or below. There is no official confirmation as yet of 2017’s ceiling price, but the Ministry has said that it expects winning bids of around PLN 400/MWh ($95.6/MWh).

The rate of support for solar in Poland has been stuttering, with government still largely hooked on cheap coal. However, small-scale solar PV installations of up to 40 kW already offer a subsidy scheme whereby consumers that feed solar energy into the grid are in turn offered a discount on electricity that they consume.

By the midway point of 2016, Poland’s cumulative solar PV capacity stood above 150 MW, of which systems smaller than 40 kW comprised 60 MW. According to Gramwzielone.pl research, some 21 MW of additional small scale (<40kW) solar capacity was added in the third quarter of the year.