RAE likely to announce PV capacity auction late October

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is expected to announce an auction offering a capacity of at least 40 MW for new PV installations in late October or early November, at the very latest, as required by recent legislation establishing a new RES support framework.

The authority’s board, which yesterday examined the auction’s details, including the time schedule, appears likely to announce the competitive process in late October, before a November 9 deadline set by the RES sector’s legislation ratified in the summer.

According to the new law, one category will concern small PV facilities with capacities between 500 KW and 1 MW. These will be able to bid for 20 percent, or 8 MW, of the auction’s total amount.

The other auction category will concern PV facilities with capacities of over one MW, in other words, operations required to hold production permits.

According to authorities, the auction process will allow for some flexibility concerning the capacities to be offered to the two categories, based on their respective demand levels. If, for example, the total capacity offered to small PV units is not fully absorbed, the remaining amount will then be offered to the second category’s bigger PV units, assuming investors are interested.

Many pundits believe that investor interest in the small-scale category will be subdued as a result of the anticipated low returns on investment. It is a different story for the bigger-scale category. Virtually all of the local market’s major players are expected to participate in the auction for capacities.

Market officials have expressed satisfication about the prospect of a return to renewed activity in the sector following an extended period of stagnancy, uncertainty and distrust.