Spain sets Oct 19 date for 3.3-GW renewables auction

The Ballestas Casetona wind farms in Spain. Image by Iberdrola (www.iberdrola,com)

September 9 (Renewables Now) - The Spanish government has scheduled the next renewable energy auction for October 19, launching a speedy process to award 3,300 MW of new capacity as the country grapples with skyrocketing prices of electricity.

Interested participants will have to be equally fast-moving and start submitting documents for pre-qualification as soon as Monday, September 13. Deadlines to commission the winning projects have also been shortened by five months compared to target dates given to winners in the January 2021 auction round.

“In the current context of high prices in the wholesale electricity market, it is considered advisable to reduce commissioning deadlines as much as possible”, Spain’s state secretariat for energy said in its resolution to launch the auction.

As the government already announced in August, 600 MW is reserved for wind and solar projects with accelerated execution timelines. These have to go online by September 30, 2022, according to the resolution.

Onshore wind and solar PV projects are allocated 1,500 MW and 700 MW, respectively. Distributed solar generation projects of up to 5 MW will compete for 300 MW, and these should encourage citizen participation.

The remaining 200 MW will be offered freely to any technology.

Onshore wind projects in the 1,500-MW category should be ready to go online by June 30, 2024, while the two groups of solar projects have to meet their respective commissioning deadlines in 2023.

Spain’s previous auction round in January awarded 3,034 MW of capacity, achieving a weighted average price of EUR 24.47 (USD 28.95) per MWh for solar PV and EUR 25.31/MWh for onshore wind.

Pushed by high costs of gas and CO2, wholesale electricity prices in Spain reached sky-high levels in the day-ahead market this year. In August, the average price on the wholesale market hit EUR 105.94/MWh, up by 193% on the year, climbing steadily from EUR 41.97/MWh in December 2020, according to the Iberian market operator OMIE.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.183)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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