Poland to auction off PV projects above 1 MW by end of 2017

Polish energy regulator URE will allocate 150 MW of installed renewable energy through the tender. The owners of the power projects that are selected in the auction will sell the electricity they generate for periods of 15 years.

If implemented, the new auction will open the Polish power market to large-scale PV projects for the first time. The government has thus far only supported solar projects up to 1 MW through two previous auctions, held in December 2016 and in June of this year, as well as its green certificate scheme, which expired a few years ago. According to the IEO, the two previous solar-only auctions — which were open to PV projects up to 1 MW — could bring 400 MW of installed PV power online, while facilitating investments of up to PLN 2 billion ($560 million).

The Polish government contracted around 4.725 TWh of power in the renewable energy auction it held on June 29 of this year. The lowest bid in the auction was PLN 195/MWh, while the highest bid reached PLN 398,97/MWh. The energy regulator set a ceiling price for PV of PLN 450/MWh.

The first auction took place in late December 2016, with 84 projects awarded, most of which were PV. The ceiling price for PV in that auction was PLN 465/MWh. The highest bid was PLN 408/MWh and the lowest was PLN 253.5/MWh.

Local portal Gramwzielone.pl, meanwhile, has reported that Polish utility PGE is also planning to enter the solar energy business with a 100 MW plan. The company said it is interested in participating in the future auctions for PV projects up to 1 MW and that it may be able to build solar installations with a capacity of 1 MW for less than PLN 3 million.

PGE, which currently has about 1.95 GW of installed renewable generation capacity (mostly wind), plans to increase the share of renewables in its power mix from 10% at present to 25% by 2030.

At the end of 2016, Poland’s cumulative installed capacity reached 199 MW. Installations built under the green certificate scheme and registered by local energy regulator URE accounted for about 99 MW of the total, while the remaining 100 MW consisted of PV systems installed under the country’s net-metering scheme.