French island Martinique is to deploy 11.1MW of solar-plus-storage as a result of the tender. Image: Flickr user: Christian Lendl
France has announced the winners of the solar and storage tender launched in 2015 on Corsica and others of its overseas island territories.
The minister for Environment, Energy and the Sea, Ségolène Royal, named the 33 winners with a total volume of 52MW, who also may benefit from feed-in tariffs (FiTs) at a weighted electricity price of €204/MWh (US$229.77/MWh) – which a ministry statement said "is competitive with full costs production in non-interconnected zones".
The projects are to be spread across the island territories of Corsica, Guadeloupe, Guyana and Martinique and La Réunion. According to ministry forecasts, successful projects are expected to generate €140 million (US$157.68 million) in investment and produce 70GWh of clean electricity each year.
Distribution of winners
The solar-plus-storage projects are ideal solutions for France’s island territories which harness tremendous potential for renewable energy development, given the long irradiation hours. The tender has combined rooftop solar and ground-mount installations or carports with storage systems to utilise self-consumption of solar and balance the burden on the grid of variable energy generation.
There has been a growing amount of solar-plus-storage deployment in island territories and remote areas, including SMA installing a hybrid solar-diesel and storage system on the island of St Eustatius and Younicos and Recharge A/S jointly commissioning a ‘grid-forming’ Portuguese island project. As a roadmap by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found last summer, the pairing of utility-scale renewables with energy storage serve as an economically viable power solution for such areas, who are typically dependent on expensive fossil fuels for their electricity, and instil a degree of energy security.
The 33 projects to be developed under this tender therefore support the integration of renewables in isolated grids, and coupled with the integration of energy storage, also improve the smoothness and predictability of solar energy, while also encouraging producers to produce when demand is high.