South Korea allocates 2 GW in PV tender, final average price drops to $0.118/kWh

Selected projects will be awarded a fixed rate under a 20-year contract under the country’s renewable energy certificate (REC) scheme and will sell electricity to local power distributors.

The South Korean Energy Agency has announced the results of the solar tender it launched in early May.

The agency revealed it allocated all the 2,050 MW it planned to assign through the procurement exercise, and that the final average price was KRW136.128 per kWh ($0.118), which was lower by KRW7.5, compared to that of the previous tender of the same kind.

PV projects ranging in size from 100 kW to 500 kW had the largest share of assigned capacity, by securing 639 MW, followed by installations with output between 500 kW to 1 MW, which secured 504 MW. Another 432 MW was allocated for PV systems with a capacity below 100 kW, and 274 MW was assigned to solar parks ranging in size from 1 MW to 20 MW. PV projects over 20 MW had the lowest share, at 204 MW.

The final average price for projects below 100 kW was KRW149.786, and for projects between 100 and 500 kW, KRW138.21. Installations with a capacity between 500 kW and 1 MW reached an average price of KRW132.975, and KRW134.882 was the price for projects ranging from 1 MW to 20 MW. For larger projects, the average price was not disclosed.

Overall, 7,663 projects were selected by the agency. The PV system owners will be granted the fixed rate over a 20-year period.

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The exercise is the first of the two PV tenders planned for this year. There are currently no domestic content requirements embedded in the tender but, starting from this year, projects relying on solar PV modules with a low carbon footprint are being prioritized.

In the two tenders held in 2020, the KEA allocated 1.2 GW and 1.41 GW while in 2019, it contracted 350 MW and 500 MW. In 2017 and 2018, total allocated capacity was 600 MW in each year. Overall, South Korea‘s authorities should tender 4 GW of solar this year.

The country reached an installed solar power capacity of around 15.6 GW as of the end of December 2020. The newly installed PV capacity for 2020 was around 4.1 GW.

South Korea currently plans to install 30.8 GW of solar by 2030.

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