March 1 (Renewables Now) - A total of 22 projects with a combined capacity of 500 MW have won the first onshore wind auction in France, the government announced on Wednesday.
The weighted average price proposed by the winners stood at EUR 65.4 (USD 79.77) per MWh, according to the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity-based Transition. Commenting on the results, Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said they indicate that onshore wind and renewables as a whole are mature and competitive, noting that France is “only at the beginning” of its transition towards sustainable energy development.
The tender rules included a bonus for projects with community participation. About a third of the winning schemes were in that category.
Nearly half of all winning projects, or 226.8 MW to be more exact, will be located in the northern region of Hauts-de-France. Next come the Centre-Val-de-Loire region in central France with 72 MW, and Pays-de-la-Loire, western France, with 70.2 MW. Three projects totalling 63.7 MW are to be developed in the largest region of the country, Nouvelle-Aquitaine. There are also winning projects in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comtepes, Grand-Est and Normandie.
Among the names in the list of successful bidders are subsidiaries of German wind turbine maker Nordex (ETR:NDX1), German wind projects developer Wpd AG, Ablaincourt Energies and Energie Vendee. The list of winning candidates can be seen here.
The auction, launched in May 2017, was conducted in line with France’s objective to achieve a 32% renewables share by 2030. It is the first of six 500-MW wind tenders that will be held in the country every six months so as to deploy 3,000 MW of onshore wind capacity in three years. The deadline for accepting proposals in the second 500-MW auction will be June 1.
In January, France adopted a 10-point plan with measures to simplify the wind project approval process and cut development times, seeking to achieve the high end its 2023 onshore wind target, or 26 GW.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.220)