Poland awards 870MW of solar capacity in latest renewables auctions

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Poland is on track to deploy around 3.2GW of solar this year. Image: R.Power.

Poland has allocated approximately 870MW of solar PV capacity in its latest round of renewables auctions that took place earlier this month, according to the country’s Energy Regulatory Office (URE).

An auction for solar and wind projects with capacities above 1MW closed with solar bidders securing 570MW, with the lowest bid coming in at PLN0.20785/kWh (US$0.05072/kWh), marginally lower than the lowest bid for that category in Poland’s previous tenders earlier in the year. Onshore wind farms totalling 460MW were also awarded.

Another auction for solar and wind plants up to 1MW had 182 participants submit 401 bids, all for PV projects. This tender, featuring a lowest bid of PLN0.219/kWh (US$0.05344/kWh), is set to result in the construction of solar installations with a combined capacity of around 300MW. URE said that due to the high number of bids submitted, the auction winners were selected not only on price but also on the order in which bids were placed.

A third tender also took place for hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal projects. In the three auctions, more than 96% of winning bids came from solar players.

Announced in late October, the latest auction round is Poland’s first that permitted participants to submit bids for hybrid renewables projects, potentially allowing bidders to combine solar PV and wind plants. These auctions closed with no hybrid bids, however.

Among the companies that were successful in the latest round was Sweden-headquartered developer OX2, which secured 28MW of solar and nearly 120MW of wind capacity.

“More wind and PV is very much needed both to lower the electricity prices for consumers in Poland and also to reduce the local pollution from fossil energy,” said Katarzyna Suchcicka, country manager at OX2 Poland.

The European Commission recently approved an extension of Poland’s renewables auction scheme until the end of 2027 to help the country meet its environmental targets.

After deploying around 2.5GW of solar in 2020, Poland has added 3.2GW this year, according to research published last week by trade association SolarPower Europe, which said that alongside auctions, deployment in the country is boosted by a favourable self-consumption scheme for prosumers and a net metering system that is complemented with a rebate scheme for residential systems.

This year has seen solar developer Lightsource bp announce its entry into Poland’s solar market through a co-development deal for a 757MWp pipeline in the country. Earlier in the year, independent power producer RP Global said it is proceeding with a pipeline of solar and wind projects in Poland to deliver more than 1GW of capacity.

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