Spain's 520-MW auction: biomass and PV win, CSP shunned as pricey
Wood waste biomass
October 26 (Renewables Now) - Spain’s ministry for the ecological transition awarded 177 MW of capacity in Tuesday’s auction for 520 MW of mixed renewables, selecting only small-scale solar PV and biomass-based power projects and leaving bidders on concentrated solar power (CSP) empty handed.
Crowned were 146 MW worth of projects for biomass-fired capacity and 31 MW of solar distributed generation (DG) plants of 5 MW and below, the ministry said on Wednesday.
The weighted average price for biomass proposals stood at EUR 93.09 (USD 93.31) per MWh, sandwiched between the maximum offer of EUR 108.19/MWh and a minimum of EUR 72.38/MWh.
Small-scale solar PV projects, which had to encourage local participation to be eligible, were awarded at an average price of EUR 53.88/MWh, with the highest price reaching EUR 62.5/MWh and the lowest EUR 44.98/MWh.
Going in, auction participants were looking at 220 MW allocated to CSP, 20 MW for “other renewables technologies”, which were expected to include biogas, bioliquids, hydro or tidal power, and 140 MW reserved for biomass and solar DG each.
The reason why CSP was left with nothing was not the lack of bidders, it was the ceiling price that the ministry for the ecological transition imposed, Spanish news service El Espanol reported on Tuesday citing unnamed sources. According to one of those sources, the price was capped at just EUR 109 to EUR 110 per MWh.
“It seems they would rather pay EUR 180/MWh for combined-cycles so that they could keep burning gas”, El Espanol reported the sources as saying.
The ministry in Wednesday’s statement said that “[t]he current situation, with high inflation, rising interest rates and price tensions in raw materials and equipment, has caused participants to submit bids above the maximum price allowed by the auction rules.”
Three bidders were awarded the capacity for biomass-fired plants -- Acciona Energia (BME:ANE) under the name Desarrollos Renovables Eolicos y Solares, Madrid-based renewables investor Reolum (bidding as Desarrollos Renovables Abies SL) and Spanish state-owned energy group Hunosa (Hulleras del Norte SA). Among the notable winners in the solar PV category is Powertis, the project development arm of Spanish trackers maker Soltec Power Holdings SA (BME:SOL).
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