Estonian renewables auction attracts 17 bidders

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Estonia’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has revealed it received project proposals from 17 bidders in the country’s first renewable energy auction, launched in late November.

The procurement exercise is measured by the amount of electricity the facilities allocated would be expected to generate annually, with contracts on offer for 5 GW of output. The 17 bidders offered sufficient project capacity to generate 16.28 GW.

The weighted average solar electricity bid price was €75.55/MWh, the government said, with the lowest bids slightly under €60. The ministry did not provide details of which renewables technologies were contained among the bids.

The government had set a maximum feed-in premium – a payment to top up the wholesale price of the electricity sold – of €53.70/MWh with a ceiling of €93 for the premium and average market price combined. Renewables generators will receive the average monthly price per megawatt-hour generated plus a 12-year feed-in premium set at the level they offer at auction.

Modest projects

“The first round is primarily aimed at testing the market’s capacity and it will be followed by larger purchases of green electricity in the future,” said Taavi Aas, Estonia’s minister of economic affairs and infrastructure. The government stated the successful bidders would be announced by June 20.

The auction was open to renewables projects ranging in generation capacity from 50 kW to 1 MW and the facilities allocated will have to begin delivering power next year.

In 2018, Estonia’s installed solar generation capacity rocketed from 17 MW to 107 MW on the back of a generous incentive scheme which paid a 12-year feed-in premium of €53.70/MWh for arrays with a capacity of up to 1 MW.