Solar secures just 5 MW in Italy’s first 500 MW renewables auction

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Italian energy agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) announced the final results of the 500 MW renewable energy auction it launched in September.

Unexpectedly, only one 5 MW solar project was selected by the agency in the procurement exercise, while wind project developers secured the remaining 495 MW.

The selected PV project, proposed by Solar Italy IX, is planned to be located in the province of Nuoro, on the island of Sardinia. The developer, which offered a 14.29% discount on the price ceiling set by the GSE, submitted a bid of €60/MWh.

The other winning projects are for wind power plants ranging in size from 9.4 MW to 84 MW. Their developers offered a discount of between 4.2% to 30.54% on maximum price.

Furthermore, the GSE has reported that another 5.7 MW solar project planned by Trisol 81 Srl for the province of Nuoro has been excluded from the auction. Its developers had offered a price of €52/MWh.

The auction was open to projects exceeding 1 MW in size and excluded projects on agricultural land, forcing developers to plan their facilities unused surfaces in urban or industrial areas.

The procurement exercise is part of an auction scheme that the Italian government launched in June 2019. Approximately 4.8 GW of renewable energy capacity will be contracted through auctions planned over the next 30 months. The first two procurement rounds will each realize around 500 MW of allocated capacity. In rounds three to five, each tender will assign 700 MW. For the final two exercises, the contracted capacity will reach 800 MW.

The program also includes a series of tenders for renewable energy projects with a capacity of between 20 kW and 1 MW.

Italy is planning to install around 50 GW of installed solar generation capacity by 2030. Currently, it has about 20 GW of operational solar power.

*article was amended on Jan. 30, 2019, to specify that final price for the selected solar project is €60/MWh and not €50/MWh, as we previously reported. We apologize for this mistake.