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Italy allocates 297.6 MW of PV in sixth renewables auction

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Italian energy agency the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) allocated 593.3 MW of renewables capacity in the country's sixth clean energy auction for projects with capacities above 1 MW.

The procurement exercise was once again under-subscribed as the government had initially hoped to assign 2 GW of new projects.

The GSE awarded 297.6 MW of solar capacity across 22 locations. These projects have capacities ranging from 612 kW to 80 MW and are located in the provinces of Sassari; Vercelli; Pavia; Isernia; Reggio Emilia; Trapani; Udine; Cagliari; Siracusa; Foggia; Parma; Nuoro and Caltanissetta; L'Aquila; Savona; Mantova; Palermo; and Latina. Among the selected developers, there are units of Engie, ERG, RWE, and Metka, and a series of special purpose vehicles that are not immediately attributable to well-known players.

Wind power was not the leading source this time, with 295.7 MW allocated across 12 sites.

All developers offered a maximum discount ranging from 2-2.6% from the auction ceiling price of €0.07/kWh. The lowest bid came in at €0.0618/kWh and was offered for a 23 MW wind farm. The lowest bid for PV technology was €0.0639/kWh. All the other bids were slightly higher in value.

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In the fifth procurement exercise, finalized in May, the lowest bid came in at €0.0685/kW and was submitted for a 3.4 MW solar project. Overall, only 32 MW of solar were allocated. In the fourth round of the tender scheme, solar secured 20 MW and the lowest bid was €0.06819/kWh.

In the third renewables auction, held in October, the GSE had assigned 95.5 MW of solar capacity across four locations. The lowest bid – submitted for a PV project – was €0.06490/kWh.

In the second renewables auction, only 19.3 MW of PV capacity was allocated, across four projects. The lowest price, of €56/MWh, was offered for a solar project. In the first procurement round, only one, 5 MW solar plant was awarded, along with 495 MW of wind capacity. The single PV project will sell electricity for €60/MWh.

The limited success of solar in these exercises is due to tender rules that exclude projects on agricultural land. The Italian government hopes to allocate approximately 4.8 GW of generation capacity in the auction scheme, which includes smaller procurement rounds for projects under 1 MW.

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