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More details on France’s new FIT for PV projects up to 500 kW

The provisions for a fixed feed-in tariff (FIT) for all PV systems up to 500 kW in size have finally been published in France’s Official Journal – after an agonizing two year wait. pv magazine France provides the low down on tariffs, caps, carbon criteria, and integration.

From pv magazine France

There was excellent news on Friday for France’s solar PV industry after the new, 34-page decree allowing for a fixed feed-in tariff (FIT) for all PV systems up to 500 kW in size, was published in France’s Official Journal, a day after the Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, announced its signature.

Entry into force

In article 1 of the decree, it has been specified that any PV installations that reached commercial operation, or that have already produced electricity within the framework of a commercial contract before the date of publication of the new decree, may not profit from a purchase contract under the conditions set out in it.

Carbon criteria

For those PV installations 100 kWp in size and above, only those with a carbon footprint below 550 kg eq CO2/kWp will benefit from a purchase contract. “We fought for this barrier to entry to be maintained on small power installations, in order to ensure that projects are carried out by manufacturers offering quality products in terms of safety, durability and traceability,” Xavier Daval, president of KiloWattSol and president of SER-Soler told pv magazine France.

The carbon footprint calculation method is presented in Annex 6.

Commissioning date

Solar PV projects must be completed by a deadline defined by the later of the following two dates:

  • Within 24 months of the date of the project developer’s complete application for connection to the public distribution system; or
  • Within two months of completion of the connection work (date to be declared by the system operator), provided that the developer has taken all steps in compliance with the system operator’s requirements to ensure that the connection work is completed within the deadline.

If these deadlines are exceeded, the duration of the purchase contracts will be reduced by the time it is exceeded.

The PV project may also be shut down after the contract has expired.

Tariffs

As announced by the Minister of Ecological Transition a few days ago, the tariff has been set at €98/MWh. “While the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance asked for less, it is a great success on the part of the Minister and the Syndicat des énergies renouvelables, which will ensure the profitability of projects in the south as well as in the north,” said Xavier Daval.

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In accordance with the operation of the open-window system, tariffs will be renegotiated every quarter according to the capacities installed.

The bonus for landscape integration (in order to promote the use of solar tiles) are set as follows:

  • Under 100 kWc, either €0.238/Wc or €0.133/Wc
  • 100-250 kWc, either €0.235/Wc or €0.128/Wc
  • 250-500 Kwc, either €0.233/Wc or €0.125/Wc

Capping of the energy that can be purchased

The annual energy purchased by the co-contractor must be equal to the energy produced by the PV installation, minus the consumption of the auxiliary equipment necessary for its operation during the production period and, where applicable, the energy is used for self-consumption as defined in Article L. 315-1 or L. 315-2 of the Energy Code and injected into the public distribution network.

It is calculated from the commencement date of the start of the purchase contract and is capped. The ceiling is defined as:

  1. For PV installations with an installed capacity of less than or equal to 100 kWp as the product of the installed capacity by a period of 1,600 hours.
  2. The energy purchased by the co-contractor beyond this ceiling is remunerated at a fixed rate of €0.05/kWh, not subject to indexation.

“We did not manage to maintain the 1,150-hour threshold, which we wanted, but it is a concession granted in return for the tariff we managed to impose,” comments Xavier Daval.

General implementation criteria

A PV installation meets the general installation criteria when it fulfills one of the following conditions:

  1. The PV system is installed on the roof of a building or a hangar, or on a carport of the PV system is parallel to the plane of the surrounding roofing elements;
  2. The PV system is installed on a flat roof of a building or a hangar or on a flat shade (slope less than 5%); and/or
  3. The PV system fulfills the function of a sill, cladding, solar shading, guardrail, shade, pergola or curtain wall.

Landscape integration criteria

A PV installation meets the landscape integration criteria when it fulfills all of the following conditions:

  1. The PV system is installed on the roof of a building or shed. The PV modules replace the traditional roofing elements and ensure the waterproofing function of the roof;
  2. The PV system is installed on a sloped roof with a slope between 10 and 75°;
  3. The PV modules carry out waterproofing functions by overlapping or by interlocking;
  4. The PV system is the subject of a favorable technical opinion issued by the commission of experts dedicated to photovoltaic processes, attached to the Scientific and Technical Center for Building (CSTB). This approval is in force on the date of the complete request for connection; and
  5. The PV system covers at least 80% of a roofs’ surface, minus the roof penetrations (chimneys, roof outlets, roof windows, etc.).

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Source: pv magazine