South Korea kicks off 2 GW PV tender


The South Korean Energy Agency has launched the first of the two PV tenders planned for this year.

In the procurement exercise, the agency intends to allocate 2,050 MW – the largest amount ever tendered by the Korean authorities to date – across five project categories: installations of less than 100 kW; projects ranging in size from 100 to 500 kW; PV arrays with a capacity between 500 kW and 1 MW; solar plants with an installed power of 1 to 20 MW; and, for the first time, solar parks exceeding 20 MW in size.

Selected projects will be awarded a fixed rate under a 20-year contract under the country's renewable energy certificate (REC) scheme and will sell electricity to local power distributors.

The tender's final results are expected to be announced on July 16 and the winning bidders should be awarded a final contract in August.

There are currently no domestic content requirements embedded in the tender but, starting from this year, projects relying on solar PV modules with a low carbon footprint are being prioritized.

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In the two tenders held in 2020, the KEA allocated 1.2 GW and 1.41 GW, respectively, while in 2019 it contracted 350 MW and 500 MW. In 2017 and 2018, total allocated capacity was 600 MW in each year. Overall, South Korea‘s authorities should tender 4 GW of solar this year.

The country reached an installed solar power capacity of around 15.6 GW as of the end of December 2020. The newly installed PV capacity for 2020 was around 4.1 GW.

South Korea currently plans to install 30.8 GW of solar by 2030.

*The lead text of the article was amended to reflect that South Korea is not a Southeast Asian country.

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