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Italy allocates 710 MW of solar in seventh renewables auction


Italian energy agency the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) allocated 974.9 MW of renewable energy capacity in the country's seventh clean energy auction for projects with capacities above 1 MW.

The GSE awarded 710.2 MW of solar capacity across 60 locations. Of these projects, 49 will have a capacity of less than 10 MW and the remaining 11 projects will range in size from 13.2 MW to 92.4 MW.

Among the selected bidders for the solar plants, there are well-known companies such as German developer Juwi, Italian energy companies ERG and Enel, and Portuguese utility EDP. Other bidders are special purpose vehicles that are not immediately attributable to industry players.

Wind power was not the leading source for the second time in a row, with 264.7 MW allocated across 18 sites.

All developers offered a maximum discount ranging from 2-3.5% from the auction ceiling price of €0.065/kWh. The lowest bid came in at €0.06263/kWh and was offered for a 5.9 MW solar project located in the province of Perugia, in the Italian central region of Umbria. The highest bid of €0.0637/kWh was submitted for an 8.4 MW wind farm in Cosenza, in the southern region of Calabria, and a 5.0 MW solar park in Forlì, in the northern region of Emilia Romagna.

The bids in the latest procurement exercise were slightly lower than those in the sixth renewable energy auction, in which discounts ranged from 2.0 to 2.06% and ceiling price was still €0.070/kWh as in all previous auctions, and considerably higher than those in the first auction, in which discounts ranged from 2.29. to 20.0%.

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In the sixth auction, held in September, the Italian authorities allocated 297 MW of installed solar power, with bids ranging from €0.0686/kWh to €0.0646/kWh. In the fifth procurement exercise, finalized in May, the lowest bid came in at €0.0685/kWh 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 €0.060/kWh.

Including the latest auction, the Italian authorities have allocated around 1.19 GW of PV through the tender scheme to date.

The GSE has recently launched the eight renewables auction, in which it expects to allocate another 3.3 GW of wind and solar capacity.

*The article was updated on January 31 to reflect that the auction's ceiling price was €0.065/kWh and not €0.070/kWh, as we previously reported.

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