Greece to tender 287 MW of new solar capacity in December

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Greek energy regulator the RAE today announced it will run competitive tenders for solar and wind power capacity on December 12.

The solar round will offer 287.11 MW of capacity to developers of projects up to 20 MW in scale. For wind, 225.45 MW will be on offer for projects up to 50 MW in size.

Bidding for solar capacity opens on October 7 and interested developers will then have until 5pm local time on November 4 to make e-submissions, with a requirement hard copies be received by the RAE by 3pm on November 7.

Solar tender

As usual there is a competition requirement, which dictates that in the case of the PV tender bids for 40% more capacity than is on offer must be received in order for the full 287.11 MW to be allocated. Any capacity not allocated in December will be carried over to the next solar tender, next year.

Bidding for the final electricity price to be received by solar project operators will start at €66.02/MWh (€0.06602 or $0.073/kWh) in the reverse auction.

Once the auction is complete, successful projects with up to 1 MW of generation capacity must be installed within a year, assets with up to 5 MW capacity will be given 15 months and larger facilities must be switched on within 18 months.

Eligibility

Developers must hold a generation license and grid connection agreement for their project to be eligible for the procurement. That requirement is the achilles heel of Greek tenders as so few developers hold the requisite paperwork and the regulator has been swamped by applications for them as a result.

The scale of the task facing RAE staff was outlined by generation license chief Adamadia Verra at an international trade show in Thessaloniki on Wednesday. Last year, Verra said, the RAE received 341 applications for 4,050.3 MW of solar generation capacity. Of those, she said, only 14 applications were approved, for a total 164 MW of new capacity. A year earlier the organization had only fielded 23 generation license applications, added Verra, for 199.4 MW of capacity.

With the license chief revealing developers often delay the process further by submitting wrong or incomplete documentation, Dionysios Papachristou, director of press and PR for the organization, told the trade show the regulator is aiming to simplify the application process. The new scheme will then be put to public consultation, said the media director.

New wholesale market model

In 2016, Greece switched from a fixed feed-in tariff model to the award of feed-in premiums to renewables projects. Under the latter system, renewables projects compete in the wholesale electricity market, receiving a market price for energy plus a premium determined by the marginal cost of the energy system and an amount tendered by the developer during procurement.

Fine in theory but three years on, Greece does not yet have a competitive wholesale electricity market and the deadline for a call for consultants to help design such a market – in line with EU regulations and including a balancing services element – was today extended until October 4.

To date, Greece has held a pilot solar tender in 2016 and renewables procurement rounds in July and December last year, and in April and July this year. pv magazine has reported on the Greek energy ministry’s plans for this year and next. The government elected in the summer is not expected to change tender targets for either year but is expected to eliminate red tape.