Spain to support distributed PV deployment in upcoming renewables auction

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Distributed PV projects with a capacity of 5MW or lower will be allowed to participate in the auction. Image: Nclave.

Spain will allocate up to 140MW of distributed solar PV capacity in the country’s next renewables auction, set to take place this April.

The procurement round is for a total of 500MW of renewables capacity, with 200MW for concentrated solar power, 140MW for biomass and 20MW for other technologies.

Distributed PV projects with a capacity of 5MW or lower will be permitted to participate in the auction, with winning bidders required to complete the plants within two years. They will then receive a 12-year power purchase agreement.

Spain’s ministry of ecological transition said the benefits of distributed PV plants include their reduced need for network infrastructure and their ability to help democratise the country’s electricity system.

The auction is set to take place on 6 April, so that companies and local entities interested in participating have time to present their projects.

For the CSP segment, projects must have at least six hours of energy storage and have the possibility of being hybridised with solar PV, biomass or biogas.

Distributed PV was also supported in Spain’s most recent renewables auction, which took place in October. While 300MW of distributed PV was allocated, only 6MW was awarded, with Spain’s National Association of Photovoltaic Energy Producers (ANPIER) flagging at the time that it was difficult for smaller participants to compete with larger players that were able to benefit from economies of scale.

October’s auction allocated a total of 866MW of solar capacity and 2,258MW of wind. Although 600MW of capacity was reserved for solar or wind plants that were required to be operational by the end of September 2022 as part of efforts to accelerate deployment, only 22MW was awarded in that segment.

April’s auction will be Spain’s third under a framework introduced in 2020 that aims to support the deployment of at least 10GW of solar PV by the end of 2025. The first procurement round under the mechanism took place last January and closed with solar bidders securing 2,036MW of capacity.

Spain deployed 3.8GW of solar last year, according to figures from trade body SolarPower Europe, which describes the country as “probably the world’s largest market for subsidy-free solar”.

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