France announces 212 winners from 800MW solar auction

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Around EUR1 billion will be invested in solar parks to give impetus to solar in the French industrial sector. Credit: Suntech

The French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (MEDDE) has announced the 212 winning projects from its 800MW solar energy auction.

All the 212 winning projects, which ranged from 0.4MW to 12MW in capacity, will benefit from the Feed-in-Tariff programme.

The tariffs quoted by candidates in this latest tender fell again compared to the previous French tender launched nearly two years ago.

The average tariff for large rooftop solar installations was €129/MWh (US$140), down 18% from €158/MWh in the previous auction.

Meanwhile, the average price for ground-mount facilities was €124, down 15% from €146.

The total capacity of the auction for projects above 250kW was increased from 400MW to 800MW in August with the French government claiming that bid prices for solar had fallen to a similar level to wind power. The capacity was also increased due to high demand and increased ambition as new French energy laws were passed.

The ministry said that 50% of the PV modules used on the new plants will be manufactured in France.

It also said that nearly €1 billion will be invested in solar parks to give impetus to solar in the French industrial sector. The parks are expected to produce 1.1TWh of electricity annually, resulting in a 15% increase in solar output.

New solar tenders will be launched in early 2016.

French president Francois Hollande recently launched the International Solar Alliance with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at the COP21 Climate conference in Paris last week seeking to increase cooperation on new technologies and give momentum to solar policies in aorund 100 countries.

In September, PV Tech also visited Europe's largest solar park – the 300MW installation in Cestas, near Bordeaux – developed by French company Neoen.

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