Ireland allocates 1.53 GW of PV in second renewables auction


Irish grid operator EirGrid has announced the provisional results of the country's second renewable energy auction, which was launched in late April.

The company allocated 1,948.2 MW of renewable energy capacity in the auction, including 1,534.1 MW of solar and 414.1 MW of wind power capacity. The final average price came in at €0.09787/kWh.

Overall, EirGrid selected 80 of the 130 projects that were submitted to compete in the auction. The projects range in size from 0.5 MW to 104.4 MW and are mostly located in central and southern Ireland. Project developers secure feed-in premiums to top up the wholesale power price for up to 16.5 years, depending on project delivery dates.

“The provisional results have been issued to the Minister for the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) for consideration,” the grid operator said. “If approved by the minister and government, the final auction results will be issued on June 15.”

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The success of solar over wind power can be explained by the fact that the auction did not include, as in the first auction, a standalone preference category for PV. This allowed solar projects to compete on a like-for-like basis with other solar projects, rather than competing with wind, which is a well-established industry in Ireland. The ministry said this choice was due to the low competitive costs seen for solar in the first auction.

In the first renewables auction, the Irish authorities allocated 796 MW of generating capacity. The average weighted bid price for the technology-neutral auction was €0.07408/kWh.

*The article was updated on May 23 to amend the dollar value of the auction's final average price.

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