France allocates 534 MW in first tender for large-scale PV, average price came in at €62.5 ($65.9)/MWh

The French government aims to allocate approximately 3 GW of large-scale solar capacity between 2017 and 2020.

France’s Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea has announced the results of its latest bidding round for large-scale PV plants. The ministry said that 79 PV projects with a combined capacity of 500 MW were selected through the tender. The average price paid for the electricity provided by these projects will be €62.5 ($65.9) per MWh. The French government added that those developers that have financed their projects through crowdfunding, approximately 60% of them, will receive an additional bonus of €3 ($3.1) per MWh.

Most of these PV projects will be developed in the southern regions of Nouvelle Aquitaine (136.5 MW), Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur (127.8 MW), and Occitanie (80.2 MW).

Large-scale solar plants selected in the tender will receive an incentive called “complement de rénumeration”. Under this mechanism, PV plant operators sell their power output to the electricity market, and not to EDF or other power providers as under the FIT mechanism, but are also entitled to receive an ex post tariff complementing the sale of power to the market.

The “complement de rénumeration” has replaced the FIT mechansim when the French government adopted the Energy Transition for Green Growth Law in August 2015.

The tender is the first of six 500 MW tenders for MW-sized PV projects announced by the French government in August 2016. The tenders are available to ground-mounted PV systems between 500 kW and 17 MW in size.

The results of the next 500 MW tender will be released on July 1, 2017.