France unveils details of 300 MW solar tender for Fessenheim nuclear site


France’s Directorate General for Energy and Climate, which is controlled by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition (CSFD), has published a document in which it has unveiled the details of the upcoming tender for the deployment of 300 MW of solar at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, which is the country’s oldest nuclear site.

According to the document, of the 300 MW that will be allocated, 200 MW will be for ground-mounted solar plants ranging in size from 500 kW to 30 MW, while another 100 MW will be for rooftop projects not exceeding 8 MW.

The tender will be implemented across three phases in late 2018, mid-2019 and late 2019, respectively, and will comprise three groups of installations: ground-mounted PV plants with a capacity of 500 kW to 30 MW; rooftop systems installed on buildings, greenhouses, carports or agricultural buildings with a power of 500 kW to 8 MW; and rooftop systems of the same kind, but with a capacity between 100 kW and 500 kW.

In the first phase, the first category will be assigned 40 MW, while the two categories for rooftop projects will see the allocation of 15 MW and 5 MW, respectively. In the second and third phases, ground-mounted PV is expected to be assigned 80 MW for each phase, will the amount of allocated power for the two categories for rooftop will be 30 MW and 10 MW, respectively.

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PV projects selected among the first two categories will be entitled to a premium feed-in tariff (FIT), while projects of the third and smallest category will have access to a regular FIT. The feed-in premium tariff for ground-mounted PV plants up to 30 MW is expected to range between €50/MWh and €70/MWh, while that for rooftop projects ranging in size from 500 kW to 8 MW is likely to be somewhere between €70/MWh and €100/MWh. Smaller rooftop projects are expected to be granted a FIT between €80/MWh and €110/MWh.

All projects that are partially financed through crowdfunding will be awarded an additional bonus of €3/MWh, an incentive which is also included in all of France’s national tenders for solar energy.

The CSFD announced plans to build solar plants at the Fessenheim nuclear site, which is planned to be decommissioned by 2020, in mid-April. The 40-year old nuclear plant has faced several safety issues over the past decades.

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