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UK generators drawn to online PPA auction by rising wholesale power prices

Highlights

82 short-term PPAs sold late January

Power-only deals between GBP55-65/MWh

Inferred ROC price of around GBP50/MWh

London — A record number of short-term Power Purchase Agreements were sold in a UK online auction late-January, with renewable energy generators drawn to the sale by the recent rise in wholesale electricity prices, E-Power commercial director Stuart Stephens told S&P Global Platts Feb. 9.

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Close to 500 MW have now been sold in E-Power's UK Power Purchase Agreement auctions, with a record 82 PPAs sold in the latest sale.

"Most prices for one-year power-only PPAs starting on April 1 ranged from GBP55/MWh to GBP65/MWh [$76-$82/MWh] depending on the level of embedded benefit and technology," Stephens said.

At the higher end of the range were low voltage-connected projects that tend to earn higher embedded benefits, and baseload technologies such as anaerobic digestion, which commanded a higher price than wind and solar, Stephens said.

Meanwhile, rising wholesale prices had seen several Feed-in Tariff generators come back into the market.

"There's been a steady improvement in power prices in the last few months, with generators seeing they can get a better price in the auction if they come off the fixed [GBP55/MWh] Feed-in Tariff export rate," he said.

The price of PPAs including both power and Renewable Obligation Certificates inferred a ROC value of around GBP50 for Compliance Period 21, starting April 2021, Stephens said.

Generators offering in the auctions range across wind, hydro, biomass, anaerobic digestion, energy-from-waste, solar PV and landfill gas technologies.

Some 1,724 bids were placed by eight different bidders during the three-day auction. The next sale is scheduled for Feb. 24.