The Polish research institute, Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej (IEO), has revealed that PV projects with a combined capacity of 4.4 GW secured preliminary grid-connection approval last year.
Around 1.8 GW of the total capacity was approved in the fourth quarter alone, while in the first three quarters of the year the newly approved capacity was 641, 838, and 1,174 MW, respectively.
“The preliminary grid-connection approvals issued in 2020 have already exceeded the current total installed capacity in photovoltaics,” stated the IEO. According to data from Polish energy agency Agencja Rynku Energii Spółka Akcyjna (ARE SA), this capacity stood at 3.96 GW at the end of December.
The IEO also revealed that the combined capacity of all PV projects that secured preliminary-grid permits had reached 10 GW as of the end of December. The vast majority of these projects are for plants of approximately 1 MW, but most of the capacity — around 3 GW — was secured by 466 projects exceeding the 1 MW threshold. In Poland, these two project typologies are being supported by different tender schemes.
The latest tender for renewable energy projects not exceeding 1 MW in size held by the Polish Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) in December saw PV developers secure all of the offered capacity of around 700 MW, as was the case in the same type of auction held a year earlier. As for the latest procurement exercise for projects over 1 MW, the ERO allocated approximately 1.7 GW of renewable energy power generation capacity, including approximately 900 MW of wind power and 800 MW of PV.
Developers are currently most eager to deploy large PV projects with a capacity of 5 MW to 50 MW, according to the IEO experts. Taking into account the number of preliminary grid permits issued for PV farms and the fact that the latest auctions were largely oversubscribed, “it can be concluded that this year will bring a huge development in the utility-scale segment in Poland”, the research institute stated.
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