Poland’s wind, solar auction concludes with lowest price of $79.1/MWh

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Poland’s third auction for renewable energy projects not exceeding 1 MW in size has seen the lowest final price increase from the first two auctions of the same kind.

According to Piotr Pająk, from renewable energy news site Gramwzielone.pl, 554 solar projects were selected, securing 8,169 TWh of power to be sold for PLN 2.2 billion ($579.8 million). Approximately half of the auction’s budget, however, remained unassigned. According to Pająk, if all of the budget would have been allocated, a total of 16,065 TWh could have been sold for PLN 6.2 billion.

The final minimum price, which does not include the tax on goods and services at which the energy was sold, was PLN 288.99 ($79.19)/MWh, while the maximum price reached PLN 364.99 ($96.19)/MWh.

“More than 550 PV farms allocated in the auction seems a good number, which may further encourage the Ministry of Energy for securing big volumes in 2019 auctions,” Pająk told pv magazine. He added that the ministry has confirmed there will be the “next big” auction next year.

Moreover, according to a new national energy strategy to 2040, published by the government last Friday, PV is set to play a key role in Poland’s energy mix, reaching 20 GW in 2040. “That means every year Poland has to add about 1 GW in new PV systems,” said Pająk.

Chinese solar project developer Renesola Ltd said in a press release that it was awarded 26 MW in the auction. “All of these 26 projects are under Poland’s Contract for Difference (CFD) regime and eligible for a 15-year guaranteed tariff of PLN 354.8-358.8/MWh, close to the highest auction price of PLN 364.9/MWh,” the company said.

In the second auction of this kind, held in June 2017, the Polish government contracted around 4.725 TWh of power. 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, while the highest bid was PLN 408/MWh and the lowest PLN 253.5/MWh.

According to the polish institute IEO, these two 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.