Russia’s renewables auction concludes with lowest solar bid of $0.059/kWh


Russian trading system administrator JSC ATS has announced the results of renewables auctions it concluded on September 9.

In the procurement exercise, which is the eighth round of the country's auction scheme for large-scale renewables, the energy regulator allocated 775 MW of PV capacity, 1,851 MW of wind power, and 96 MW of hydropower capacity.

The auction concluded with an average price of RUB 5.18 ($0.070)/kWh. The lowest bid for solar technology was RUB 4.33 ($0.059)/kWh and that for wind power was RUB 1.717/kWh. The lowest offer for hydropower was RUB 7.68/kWh.

The JSC ATS reviewed 100 project proposals for wind power, 89 for solar PV, and three for hydropower.

Selected solar projects are due to come online in 2023 and 2024, while wind projects are scheduled to become operational between 2025 and 2027. Hydropower projects should begin selling power to the grid between 2027 and 2028.

“The average bid for solar is down nearly 64% on the minimum bid seen in the country’s previous solar auction,” Anton Usachev, president of the Russian Solar Energy Association, told pv magazine. “This is attributed to local content requirements that since 2014 have led to establishing several cell and module manufacturing facilities, inverter and mounting structures production.”

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In the seventh round of the scheme, held in June 2019, three projects, with generation capacities of 5.6-6 MW, were pre-qualified for a 5.6 MW capacity procurement and Finnish utility Fortum secured the only PV project selected. The average bidding price was around RUB 62,000 ($821) per megawatt installed. The capex figure offered by solar developers was lower than that for 71 MW of wind power allocated and lower than for previous PV projects.

The previous auction round, held in June 2018, saw Russian module manufacturer Hevel Group and Fortum win the 148.5 MW worth of solar PV projects awarded.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Russia had 1,428 MW of installed solar power at the end of 2020. The country is also supporting rooftop PV via a newly introduced net metering scheme.

Russia has the potential to almost double its 2030 solar capacity target to 5 GW. Although the nation is not regarded as a country with high solar radiation, IRENA said southern regions such as Dagestan and Altai could host large scale PV plants “likely to perform as efficiently as in southern Italy”.

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