State news service: China has already connected 870 MW of this year’s subsidized PV projects

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China News Service this morning reported 870 MW of the 22.79 GW of solar power generation capacity allocated in the nation’s first public auction for subsidized PV projects has already been connected to the grid.

The English language website of the state-owned media outlet quoted National Energy Administration (NEA) official Li Chuangjun in an article in which the employee pledged the agency would be better prepared for next year’s tender.

Developers of subsidized projects are racing to get facilities connected by the end of the year to receive the full electricity tariff payment they bid in the auction. Under the terms of the procurement, any projects missing the December 31 deadline will see their tariff reduce by RMB0.01/kWh ($0.0015) per quarter until the end of June, after which subsidies will be removed entirely.

Subsidy surplus

The China News Service report claimed the total cost of subsidies for the allocated projects would be RMB1.7 billion ($247 million) – RMB550 million less than the RMB2.25 billion put aside by the NEA to subsidize large-scale ground-mount projects in this year’s budget.

Announcing the results of the auction earlier this month, Chinese analyst the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA) quoted NEA figures to report 417 projects with a combined generation capacity of 1.77 GW which had been pre-selected to participate in the exercise had missed out on subsidies.

The AECEA has predicted 38-42 GW of new solar capacity will be added in China this year. Quasi-governmental industry body the China Photovoltaic Industry Association last week announced a more confident forecast of 40-45 GW for 2019.