Spain to award 220 MW of Concentrated Solar Power in Oct 25 auction

The ministry for the ecological transition reserved 140 MW for distributed solar PV projects of up to 5 MW, and 380 MW for concentrated solar power (CSP), biomass-based and tech-neutral schemes.

The Spanish government expects to hold the next renewable energy auction on October 25 this year, announcing today that it will allocate 520 MW of capacity for firm renewables.

The 380-MW category is further split between 220 MW for concentrated solar power, 140 MW for biomass and 20 MW for “other renewables technologies”, with the ministry saying that these could include biogas, bioliquids, hydro or tidal power.

In the event that these 380 MW are not fully absorbed in the auction, the leftover capacity will be added to the tech-neutral group. Unawarded distributed solar PV capacity will not spill over to other technologies, the ministry said.

The upcoming auction will be Spain’s third to employ a pay-as-bid remuneration model as the form of regulatory support. The first two were for variable renewables, wind and solar PV, and the ministry says that this time, “firm renewables” need to be incorporated in line with Spain’s 2021-2030 national energy and climate plan (NECP).

For the bidders, this means that their CSP projects must have six hours of energy storage to be eligible to participate. CSP can also be hybridised with biomass, biogas, bioliquids and solar PV, as long as the PV component does not exceed 10% of the CSP capacity, the ministry explained.

The auction was in the works since December 2021 when the ministry for the ecological transition first presented the draft terms and conditions for public consultation. The ministry now says it has incorporated some changes in project eligibility and criteria, with the most notable ones applying to the distributed solar PV category.

What is unchanged is that CSP plants, biogas and biomass-fired installations in this round will receive regulatory support for 20 years, whereas solar PV and those classified as “other renewables technologies” can count on 12 years of support. All plants will retain some exposure to the market but in different measures.

The Spanish Association for the Promotion of the Solar Thermal Industry (PROTERMOSOLAR) positively values ??the third auction of renewables with 520 MW for concentrated solar pwer, biomass, distributed photovoltaic and other technologies convened by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

“We are very excited about what a reactivation of the solar thermal industry means. At a key moment, in which our technology is called to be an alternative that substantially reduces dependence on fossil fuels”, they have celebrated from Protermosolar.

The new auction announced by MITECO will take place on October 25 and in the case of concentrating solar power it is presented with a minimum reserve of 220MW and great possibilities of installing thermal storage.

Protermosolar is the association that represents the Spanish sector of the thermoelectric solar industry, in which Spain is the international leader both in installed power and in the participation of its companies in international projects.

Spain has an installed capacity of 2,300 MW, which represents approximately one third of the world’s capacity. And furthermore, spanish companies are present in more than three quarters of all the projects in the world.

Concentrated Solar Power technology, thanks to its thermal storage, firmness and non-intermittent production, is presented as the most competitive solar renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, capable of decarbonizing electricity generation at night.