France raises annual capacity of solar tenders by 1 GW, confirms joint wind-solar auctions

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France’s Minister Of Ecological and Solidary Transition (MTES), Nicolas Hulot has announced that the annual capacity to be allocated through the series of solar tenders launched by the French government in late 2016 will be increased from 1.45 GW to 2.45 GW.

So far, Hulot said, through the first rounds of the multi-year tenders, which are open to both rooftop and ground-mounted PV projects, around 1.3 GW of PV capacity has been assigned. Hulot clarified that the increase in capacity will be implemented gradually, as of the next call for tenders, which will take place in March for rooftop installations and in June for ground-mounted PV power plants.

Moreover, the minister has confirmed that a joint 200 MW tender for large-scale wind and solar power projects will be held in the near future. This will be open to projects ranging in size from 5 MW to 18 MW and, like in all current tenders, will offer an additional incentive with projects financed for a certain amount through crowdfunding.

Furthermore, Hulot has revealed that around 50 MW of PV capacity, divided across 145 projects, was allocated in the latest round of the self-consumption tender. These projects, Hulot said, will be entitled to sell excess power to the grid at a rate of €0.079/kWh, a price which is 70% lower than that of the previous tender of this kind.

“The value of the rate,” Hulot commented, “will be higher as the share of electricity consumed will be significant and the design of the installation will allow a good integration into the electricity network. The average self-consumption rate of the winners of the call for tender is also extremely high, higher than 98%, which reflects a real desire to use their own electricity.”

France‘s three-year series of tenders is open to rooftop PV systems installed on buildings, greenhouses, agricultural facilities and carports.