‘Record’ prices reported as Portugal’s PV auction nears conclusion

Jul 29, 2019 04:31 PM ET
Portugal’s first-ever solar auction has triggered prices likely to break European records, the country’s media has reported one week before the results are known.

On Friday, outlet Expresso claimed bids of €20/MWh (US$22.25/MWh) have been tabled for the 1.4GW PV tender that opened this summer, down from ceiling prices of €45/MWh (US$50/MWh).

EDP, Galp, EDF, Iberdrola, Voltalia, Finerge all applied for support from the tender, the Expresso reports added.

The reports pile anticipation on a highly oversubscribed auction, with 64 PV finalists producing earlier this month bidding volumes – 10GW – nine times the tender’s size.

The 64 solar schemes were pre-selected from the hundreds that put themselves forward when the tender launched, forcing the government to extend the bidding period by one week.

Approached by PV Tech, a spokesperson from Portugal’s Environment Ministry declined to comment on the €20/MWh reports, described by international outlets as a European record-breaker.

The full results, the spokesperson added, will be known when the auction concludes next week.

Should the €20/MWh expectations materialise, Portuguese PV would still see itself outcompeted by its Brazilian counterpart, with a tender this summer producing prices of around US$17.5/MWh.

The tender is part of Portugal’s campaign for a solar boom, with plans to push installed PV capacity from 572MW (2018) up to 1.6GW (2021) and 8.1GW-9.9GW (2030).

The tender is processing bids under two modalities – with and without a fixed price – to cater to early-stage projects but also mature, PPA-successful schemes.

As PV Tech has witnessed, the dual design has not impressed all, amid warnings in the developer ranks that the second modality may result in “speculative” bids from players with still-hazy projects.

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