The Irish government has announced the provisional results of the country’s first auction for large scale renewables.
If the results are confirmed, the exercise – launched in late April – will have more than doubled its ambition of generating 1 TWh of clean energy, with more than 2,237 GWh of clean energy generation facilities allocated.
“The results are very competitive and represent a significant saving on previous support schemes,” said minister for communications, climate action and environment, Eamon Ryan. “The volumes procured set us on the right trajectory to achieve the ambitious 70% renewable electricity target by 2030 set out in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan.”
Solar is on track to have the largest share of the power plants allocated, with the volume of electricity awarded equating to 796 MW of generation capacity. Wind is expected to secure 479 MW.
“The average weighted bid price for the technology-neutral auction was €74.08/MWh,” the government stated. “Unlike previous schemes, renewable generators will be required to pay back to electricity customers when market prices are high, the bid prices are also fixed over the lifetime of the support and no payments will be made during negative-market-price periods.”
With the bids in the exercise based on the volume of energy actually expected to be generated by the projects, rather than their nominal generation capacity, Dublin said 2,237 GWh of the 2,557 GWh of bids submitted were allocated.
Project developers will secure feed-in premiums to top-up the wholesale power price for 14-16.5 years, depending on project delivery dates.
The auction was part of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which started taking shape in September 2017 and was approved by the government in early December. A second round of the RESS, to procure a further 3 TWh of clean power, is planned next year.