MITECO Announces Third Renewable Energy Auction with 520 MW for Solar Thermoelectric, Biomass, Distributed Photovoltaic and Other Technologies

On this occasion, 520 MW are auctioned, divided into two quotas: one of 140 MW for distributed photovoltaics, for installations of less than 5 MW locally, and another of 380 MW for other sources, with reserves of 220 MW for solar thermoelectric, 140 MW for biomass and 20 MW for other technologies. The tender procedure will take place on October 25, 2022, leaving room for the preparation of tenders and promoting greater participation by interested parties.

The resolution is in line with the REER allocation schedule for the period 2020-2026 included in the Order TED/1161/2020which indicates a minimum volume of power to be attributed to solar thermoelectric technology of 200 MW, 140 MW for biomass and 20 MW for other renewable technologies, such as biogas, bioliquids, hydro or tidal energy.

If reserves for solar thermoelectric, biomass and other technologies are not fully allocated, excess power will go to a neutral quota where technologies will compete indiscriminately. The quota dedicated to photovoltaics will not participate in this transfer mechanism.

Greater social participation

The resolution proposal for the auction was submitted for public participation between December 30 and January 21, and after analyzing the allegations presented, MITECO introduced several changes, among which the flexibility of the criteria for small-scale local photovoltaic installations. to increase social participation.

Thus, the distance to be considered as a local participant is extended to a radius of 60 kilometers -previously it was 30 kilometers-, the number of local partners is reduced, which must be greater than three -previously there were four-, and the period during which citizen participation in the installation must be maintained for five years, whereas before it was its entire useful life. In addition, those who have a second home in the region can be considered local partners.

The specific support for small distributed generation systems responds to the fact that they offer greater efficiency, since they require less network infrastructure and reduce energy losses in them. The need to democratize the electricity system has also been taken into account, seeking the participation of citizens, as well as other agents, such as SMEs and local entities, in the deployment of renewable technologies.

Firm and manageable technologies

The Integrated National Energy Climate Plan (PNIEC) 2021-2030 proposes the incorporation of firm and manageable renewable technologies with the aim of providing essential flexibility to achieve a high degree of penetration in the electricity system of unmanageable renewable production, such as wind and photovoltaic, protagonists of the two previous REER auctions.

For this reason, solar thermal power plant projects that participate in the auction must have six hours of storage and can be hybridized with biomass, biogas, bioliquids and photovoltaics, provided that the photovoltaic power does not exceed 10 % of thermoelectric power.

On the other hand, biomass, biogas and bioliquid power plants will have to meet the efficiency requirements established by Royal Decree 376/2022, and their fuels will have to meet the criteria of sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. established by this rule.

Increased market exposure

In REER auctions, developers bid for the price they are willing to charge for the energy produced by their plants, with some exposure to the market price. On this occasion, solar thermoelectric, biomass, biogas or bioliquid installations will receive the REER for 20 years and will have a market exposure of 15%, due to their condition as manageable; photovoltaics and other renewables will receive the REER for 12 years and will have a lower exposure to the market, 5%.

As in the two previous auctions, the winning companies will be required to present a strategic plan with estimates of the impact on local employment and the industrial value chain, which will be published on the MITECO website. In addition, this appeal introduces the possibility of preventing access to future TCER auctions to winning installations, to dissuade them from forgoing the regime granted in this auction to move to another subsequent auction.

Two to four and a half years to build

Photovoltaic installations will have two years to build from award, while more complex solar thermoelectric and biomass installations will have four and a half. For the rest of the technologies, the period will be four years.

The auction is scheduled for October 25, so that those interested have time to prepare their projects, both companies that present thermosolar, biomass and other technologies projects, as well as citizens, SMEs and entities local authorities oriented towards the photovoltaic distribution quota.

In the two previous REER auctions, held in January and October 2021, MITECO awarded a total of 2,902 MW of photovoltaic technology and 3,256 MW of wind technology, at prices well below those recorded on the wholesale market of the electricity.

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