Regulator finds fault with onshore tender

FRANCE: The recently announced tenders will "occupy only a marginal place" in the deployment of onshore wind, energy regulator CRE warns in an analysis of the draft tender terms.

France's onshore tender proposals favour small projects of up to six turbines
France's onshore tender proposals favour small projects of up to six turbines

Under the new market mechanism, projects over six turbines or 6MW in capacity will go to tender. Smaller projects will be eligible for top-up payments, similar to a contracts for difference scheme, but through direct application via an "open window".

However, CRE argues that given France’s environmental and territorial constraints, few large projects will be developed.

"The weakness of the potential resource justifies lowering the threshold in order to guarantee sufficient competitive pressure," it said.

A maximum distance between turbines should also be specified to prevent developers splitting projects into small lots of six turbines to avoid the tender process.

CRE recommends turbines over 1500m away should be counted as separate projects.

The regulator also asks that support duration be extended from the proposed 20 years to 25 years. "The CRE wants to be able to evaluate and monitor the profitability of the installation over its lifetime," said Marion Lettry, assistant executive commissioner of trade body SER.

"It wishes that, as far as possible, the duration of the contract reflects the lifetime of the installation," she said.

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