German regulator launches onshore wind tender

GERMANY: The Federal energy regulator has launched the second onshore wind auction of the year, setting a maximum bidding price of €63/MWh.

Energy regulator BNA has set a maximum price bid of €63/MWh for 2018 auctions (pic: Petra Klawikowski)
Energy regulator BNA has set a maximum price bid of €63/MWh for 2018 auctions (pic: Petra Klawikowski)

The deadline for bids is 2 May — pushed back a day as 1 May is a public holiday in Germany — and the tender volume has been set at just over 670MW, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNA) announced.

In accordance with Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the tender volume is less than the 700MW originally planned due to just over 89MW of pilot turbines being installed last year. Under the EEG, this total must be deducted from the next three tenders.

A maximum of 222.7MW can be built in the northerly network development area, which is comparatively densely populated with wind turbines already, to avoid bottlenecks, the regulator announced.

"The limit in the tendering quantities in the network development area is designed as a temporary instrument until improvements in the transmission bottlenecks are achieved through grid expansion," the BNA explained.

Bids will be allowed up to €63/MWh, and contracts will be awarded to the lowest submissions until the full volume is reached, the regulator added.

It will be the second auction to take place following changes to amend rules deemed advantageous to community projects.

The rule changes included scrapping concessions allowing citizens’ group a 54-month implementation period — two years longer than the 30-month window for larger developers.

Under the new rules, all bids, including those for "citizens’ projects", must also have received a permit under the Pollution Control Act, and must have been registered with the BNA by 11 April.

Citizen’s projects will still received the price of the highest successful bid.

The first tender round of the year — in which the new rules applied for the first time — saw prices increase to €38/MWh-€52.80/MWh, up from €22/MWh-€38/MWh in November.

The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) said it was the first auction to achieve "fair competition".

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