January 24 (Renewables Now) - The European Commission (EC) has cleared France’s plans to launch a 300-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) tender ahead of the decommissioning of its Fessenheim nuclear power plant in 2022.
The Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition announced on Wednesday that the tender will be limited to projects in the Haut-Rhin department, in the Grand Est region of France. Its overall budget will be EUR 250 million (USD 283.9m).
The initiative will facilitate the deployment of 200 MW of ground-based PV capacity, 75 MW of large and 25 MW of small rooftop systems. The competition will have three bidding rounds, the first of which is expected to be opened in six months. Projects for installing PV panels on degraded land will get a special environmental bonus, the Ministry said.
The Fessenheim nuclear power plant in Haut-Rhin has two reactors of 920 MW each, the oldest ones in the country. Its closure is part of the country’s plan to move away from fossil fuels by 2050. A threefold increase in onshore wind and a fivefold increase in solar PV capacity by 2030 are envisaged in support of that goal.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.136)