France launches tender for 3GW of solar

France is seeking to raise its installed solar capacity from 6GW at the end of last year to 20.2GW by 2023.

France has launched a renewables tender to help the country meet its target of 20.2GW of installed solar capacity by 2023.

The tender will allow developers to bid on 3GW of solar projects divided into six periods of 500MW each. The first tender ends on 1 February next year.

France had 6,191MW of installed solar capacity at the end of last year, according to French grid operator RTE. The country has offered a flurry of tenders this year to help meet the 20.2GW target set in March.

Proposals will be picked based on how cost-effective the project is, its carbon impacts and the potential damage to surrounding woodland.

France, which has leaned on nuclear generation for much of its power, is seeking to add more renewables to its energy mix, adopting a law earlier this year that set a target for 40 percent renewable generation by 2030.

To meet this goal, the country has turned to tender offers. Ecology minister Ségolène Royal announced in February new procedures that will shorten the time it takes to complete tender offers by six to eight months.

Awarding renewables projects through tenders has proven an effective way to attract developers and drive down project costs through competitive bids. Last week, Chile announced results from the largest renewables auction it’s ever held. Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power, which secured contracts to build 985MW, was the auction’s largest winner. The auction also showed a notable drop in average contract prices – down to $47.59 per MWh, from $79.34 per MWh at the country’s last auction.

Earlier this month, Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator began its second large-scale renewables tender this year by asking for submissions for 930MW of renewable projects.