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France awards just 57% of capacity in onshore wind tender

Energy regulator believes slow issuing of environmental permits caused developers to stay away from French onshore wind auction

Successful developers included EDF Renewables, Valorem, EnBW-Valeco and Enertrag
Successful developers included EDF Renewables, Valorem, EnBW-Valeco and Enertrag

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Developers stayed away from France’s eighth onshore wind tender, with applications filed for only 540MW out of the 700MW capacity available.

French energy regulator the Commission de Régulation de l’Electricité (CRE) received 36 applications, but disqualified ten of these due to competitiveness clauses in the tender. Such clauses included eliminating at least 20% of the lower ranked offers.

It awarded contracts to 26 projects with a cumulative capacity of 404MW – just over half of the capacity available.

The weighted average price of €60.80/MWh was slightly higher than two previous tenders, which had average prices of €59.70/MWh and €59.50/MWh respectively.

Successful developers included EDF Renewables, Valorem, EnBW-Valeco and Enertrag. Nearly all successful companies had already won projects in previous auctions, according to French financial adviser Envinergy.

Under auction rules, their projects must be commissioned before August 2024, Envinergy added.

Meanwhile, CRE pointed out that the tender was undersubscribed, partly due to the slow issuing of environmental permits that were not needed for earlier rounds.

Shrinking projects

Despite four 30MW-plus projects securing contracts, the average size of wind farms was smaller compared to recent rounds, CRE noted. 

The average number of turbines was five, and average project capacity was 15.5MW in the most recent round. This compares to an average of seven turbines and 23MW capacity in previous rounds.

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