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France awards 858 MW of solar in latest tender

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France awards 858 MW of solar in latest tender

The French environment ministry has awarded contracts to 107 utility-scale solar projects with a combined capacity of 858 MW in the sixth round of its multiyear tender program.

The tenders will help achieve the targets of the programmation pluriannuelle de l'énergie, the country's 10-year energy plan, which calls for an increase in solar capacity to 44.5 GW by 2028 from the current 9.1 GW, according to an Aug. 5 release.

The average price in the tender was €64/MWh. For projects with a generation capacity of more than 5 MW, the average price is €59.5/MWh, while those in the range of 500 kW and 5 MW will benefit from an average price of €63.80/MWh. Solar projects on parking canopies seized the highest average price at €87.50/MWh, PV Magazine reported Aug. 6.

Projects were limited to 30 MW in size, though a 32.4-MW project, set to be built on degraded land in Gironde by Engie SA, secured an exemption to this rule, PV Magazine said.

Projects partly financed via crowdfunding, amounting to about 58% of the total, will reportedly benefit from a tariff increase.

"[T]hese 107 new projects are equivalent to nearly 10% of today's solar photovoltaic production capacity," said Elisabeth Borne, France's environment minister.

The process was the final round of a 4-GW six-round solar tender program in France that began in 2016.