The French government has awarded 103 solar power projects with a combined capacity of 720MW as part of the fourth round of the country’s solar tender aimed at adding 3GW of new solar capacity to its energy mix by 2020.
The new solar power projects announced during the fourth round of France’s solar tender will altogether generate enough power to meet the energy consumption of about 100,000 homes annually.
Two more rounds, each for 850MW of solar capacity will be held by the French government in the future in accordance with the commitment made by the country at One Planet Summit to boost its renewable energy production volumes. The 3GW solar tender, announced in 2016 has a total of six rounds spread over three years.
In the fourth round of the tender, the winning projects will sell the electricity generated by them at an average price of €58.2/MWh, which is 5% lesser than the average price recorded in the previous period.
According to the government, the larger plants in the 5-30MW bracket proposed an average price of 52€/MWh, which is the lowest price bid so far in France for solar power plants.
More than a third of the awarded solar power projects will be located in the northern part of the country, including about 85MW of projects in the Center-Val de Loire region and 77MW of projects in the Hauts-de-France region.
French Minister of Ecological and Solidary Transition Nicolas Hulot said: “All French regions can benefit from the large-scale development of solar photovoltaics.
“The energy transition is now taking place everywhere, in all territories. This is made possible in particular by the increase in volumes and the bonus on the environmental relevance of the site set up in this call for tenders.”
Nearly a quarter of the awarded solar power projects were won by French utility Engie. The energy giant bagged a total of 25 photovoltaic projects with a combined capacity of 230MW via its subsidiaries Engie Green, Langa and Compagnie Nationale du Rhône.