Greece's Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) has announced the country’s third joint solar-wind tender will take place, on May 24.
Solar power projects with a generation capacity of up to 20 MW will be allocated, along with wind facilities up to 50 MW in a 350 MW procurement exercise which will have a €53.86/MWh (€0.05386/kWh) price ceiling for the energy generated.
Bidders hoping to compete in the auction must apply online by 5pm EET on March 22.
Digital license regime in full play
The May tender will be the first held under the country’s new digital license regime. The previous requirement to hold one of the limited number of generation licenses issued by the regulator has been removed, with the RAE now simply issuing an online generation certificate within 20 days of receipt of a €60 application fee from developers.
The previous regime had proved restrictive as the regulator was unable to process huge numbers of generation license applications.
The change brought in by environmental law 4685/2020 prompted a big response, with the RAE announcing just before Christmas that the first round of generation certificate applications had attracted 1,864 online applications related to 45.55 GW of potential renewables generation capacity – 1,286 of them relating to 36.34 GW of solar facilities.
Numerous contenders for the May auction now hold generation certificates, although they will still be required to also have a grid connection agreement and financial letters of guarantee.
The regulator is also expecting increased competition in the May tender. The RAE insists on over-subscription of its renewables tenders to meet competition requirements. The dearth of generation licenses available under the old regime meant that overbidding requirement was set at 40% – even so, tenders were routinely unable to achieve their capacity allocation targets.
The relative abundance of digital generation certificates has prompted the regulator to set a 100% over-subscription bar for the next procurement exercise.
The intent is that increased competition will bear down on the energy price tariffs allocated, to the benefit of electricity users.
2.1 GW of additional PV-wind tenders by 2024
Meanwhile, Greece’s Ministry of Energy and the Environment announced in November, the renewables tender program will be extended until 2024.
The exercise planned in May would actually have been the last tender planned under the 2018-20 clean energy procurement program but the ministry announced plans for a further six solar-wind auctions up to 2024, each aiming to allocate 350 MW of renewables generation capacity.
The government department also stated, in a press release about the tender schedule, that the program would be fine tuned in the months ahead to better match a new electricity market design introduced at the end of last year.
Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis today made Kostas Skrekas minister for energy and the environment in a cabinet reshuffle. Skrekas will replace Kostis Hatzidakis, who was responsible for introducing the digital renewables licensing process and a more comprehensive environmental licensing scheme. Hatzidakis was a strong proponent of the new electricity market design, which is based on EU guidelines, and Skrekas is expected to continue in the same direction.
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