Poland to support hybrid projects in upcoming round of solar auctions

A PV project from ReneSola in Poland. Image: ReneSola Power.

Poland is set to hold a series of renewables auctions before the end of the year, including the country’s first that will support hybrid projects.

The bulk of energy is set to be contracted from an auction on 9 December for PV or wind projects with capacities above 1MW that will take place two days after another smaller auction for projects below 1MW.

This follows a similar format to previous renewables auctions in the country, the most recent of which took place earlier this year and saw solar bidders awarded 2.2GW of capacity.

A new addition in this round will allow participants to submit bids for hybrid renewables projects through two other auctions taking place on 2 and 3 December, potentially supporting bidders combining solar and wind plants, which could also be linked with energy storage systems. The rules for these two require that the hybrid projects be located in one county or no more than five municipalities that border each other.

The additional renewables support comes after Poland deployed 2.2GW of solar PV last year – during which time it also allocated a further 700MW to PV projects through an auction in December – leading trade association SolarPower Europe to label the market “Europe’s latest shooting star”.

In the auctions earlier this year, solar bidders were awarded all the capacity in the bucket for projects under 1MW as well as 1.2GW of projects in the category for plants over 1MW, compared to just 300MW for wind.

According to a spokesperson from the Polish Photovoltaic Association, that was in part due to legal restrictions on siting wind farms near residential housing as well as the “boom that solar energy has been experiencing in Poland for several years.

A combination of relatively cheap land, good solar resources, a low-cost labour market and close partnerships with German project developers and equipment manufacturers led consultancy Fitch Solutions to predict that Poland will deploy 13GW of solar over the next decade, increasing from 3.9GW installed at the end of last year.

Deployment is set to be boosted by planned projects from Lightsource bp, which this month announced its entry into Poland’s solar market through a 757MWp do-development deal.

PV Tech publisher Solar Media is hosting the Large Scale Solar: Central & Eastern Europe conference next month, held between 16 – 17 November 2021 in Warsaw, Poland. The event will bring together developers, EPCs and other solar stakeholders in the CEE region and more information, including how to attend, can be read here.