Solar claims all the capacity in Poland’s latest small scale renewables auction

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The latest generation capacity auction for small scale solar and wind installations in Poland saw PV developers sweep the board to secure 750 MW of new facilities.

The results of the fourth procurement round held for projects with a generation capacity of up to 1 MW were published this week, after the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) staged the AZ/9/2019 auction last month.

“The whole volume which was set up for this auction was taken by PV projects,” said Dorota Gręda, a representative of Polish Institute for Renewable Energy (IEO). “Thanks to this auction, there are going to be built around 750 MW of PV installations in two years.” 

The final price secured for the solar power to be generated by the facilities fell from the level recorded in the last small scale auction, held at the end of 2018. In the latest round, the ERO reported a minimum price of PLN269/MWh ($70.39) and a maximum of PLN327/MWh. Those figures, which exclude goods and services tax on the energy, compare to PLN288.99 and PLN364.99, respectively, in the previous round.

Price curve

The first small scale procurement round, in late December 2016, contracted power for prices ranging from PLN253.5-408/MWh after the regulator set a ceiling price of PLN465. Six months later, the prices fell to PLN195-398.97/MWh with the ceiling price reduced to PLN450 as the government contracted around 4.725 TWh of solar energy.

Some 1,044 renewable energy projects applied for last month’s procurement exercise with 759 succeeding as the auction secured more than 11.43 TWh of solar power at a cost of PLN3.6 billion ($942 million).

The successful bidders included the Innogy Renewables Polska subsidiary of German utility Innogy, which secured support for 42 1 MW-capacity projects in the voivodeships of West Pomerania, Pomerania and Greater Poland. Construction of the sites will begin this year as Innogy enters the Polish solar market, having already developed wind power assets in the country.

Innogy’s plan

“The awarded projects are smaller in size but grouped into clusters in order to optimize construction and further operations,” said Thorsten Blanke, head of solar power at Innogy SE. “They are the initial step towards developing a solar business in Poland. We are delighted to have secured a sizable solar development pipeline. In addition to the projects we have been awarded which are ready to be built, the majority of [the] remaining projects from this pipeline are at a stage of advanced development and will be ready for auction next year or the year after.”

Some 260 companies were successful in the auction with Polish developer PWCO scooping 110 projects which accounted for 14.5% of the total awarded capacity.

“This will cause … significant growth in the market,” said IEO spokesperson Gręda. “Now there is a question about [the] next RES [renewable energy system] auction in 2020 because as we can see, there [are] still a lot of projects on the market [and] the volume for [the] auction [for] below 1 MW [systems in] 2020 will probably be smaller than it was in 2019.”