The Polish government has contracted around 4.725 TWh of power in the renewable energy auction it held on June 29, according to information provided to pv magazine by local PV analyst Piotr Pająk.
According to Pająk, although the Polish authorities have not disclosed the number of PV projects selected in the auction, solar is expected to have the largest share of the 472 awarded projects. The lowest bid for the auction was 195 PLN ($52.6)/MWh, the highest bid reached 398,97 PLN ($107.6)/MWh. The Polish energy regulator URE had set a ceiling price for PV of 450 PLN ($121.3)/MWh.
The owners of the power generators selected in the auction will sell the electricity with the offered price for a period of 15 years, and the price will be increased at an annual inflation rate.
Meanwhile, Chinese solar company Renesola announced it was awarded 42 MW of projects in the auction. The company said that 42 solar installations of 1 MW each were selected in the tender, and that these are eligible for a 15-year guaranteed tariff of PLN 385-392/MWh. Renesola added that these projects are expected to be connected to the utility grid by Q2 and Q3 2018 respectively.
This was the second auction for PV projects up to 1 MW held by the Polish government. The first one took place on 30 Dec 2016 and 84 projects were awarded, the most of which for PV. According to Pająk, however, only one of the selected solar projects has come online to date.
In the 2016 auction, the ceiling price for PV was PLN 465 ($125.1)/MWh. The highest bid was PLN 408 ($109.8)/MWh and the lowest PLN 253.5 ($68.2)/MWh.
“Last year,” said Pająk, “Polish Ministry of Energy said that by 2020 it wants some 1 GW, maybe even 2 GW of photovoltaics in the country’s energy system as it seeks to solve a problem of growing summer peaks for energy demand. That potential should come with next auctions.”
At the end of 2016, Poland’s cumulative installed capacity had reached 199 MW. Of this capacity, around 99 MW is represented by installations built under the green certificate scheme and registered by local energy regulator URE, while the remaining 100 MW consists of PV systems installed under net metering.
The Polish government introduced changes to the country’s renewable energy law in July 2016. The new legislation has created an auction mechanism for PV installations with a power of more than 40 kW and a net-metering scheme for PV systems up to 40 kW.
Piotr Pająk represents Polish renewable energy portal Gramwzielone.pl.