The French government has awarded subsidized contracts to 392 rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with a combined capacity of 200 MW.

The contracts were awarded in the fourth round of a 2.5 GW program, the energy ministry said Thursday.
Solar pv panels
Platts reports that the average price dropped a further 5% from the previous round to Eur80.80/MWh ($99.89/MWh) with prices down 24% from the first round last April, it added.

Rooftop projects are generally smaller and therefore more expensive than ground-based projects which averaged just above Eur60/MWh in their latest auction.

The energy ministry has also launched a working group to accelerate solar growth to reach its targets of 10 GW installed by end-2018 and 20 GW by 2023.Current installed capacity is at 8GW.

Volumes for the next rooftop tender in July were lifted to 225 MW with the next ground-based tender planned for June with 720 MW on offer.

Last week, the government launched an additional solar tender for 300 MW specifically for the Haut-Rhin region to offset the impact of the planned closure of France’s oldest nuclear power plant at Fessenheim.

French state-owned utility EDF plans to develop 30 GW of solar capacity in France between 2020 and 2035.

Meanwhile French firm Engie and investment partner Meridiam have been selected by Senegal’s Electricity Sector Regulation Commission (CRSE) as preferred bidder for two solar photovoltaic projects with combined capacity of 60MW.

These two projects are part of the Scaling Solar initiative in Senegal, conducted jointly by the Senegalese authorities and the International Finance Corporation.

In Senegal, ENGIE is already involved in the Senergy project, a 30 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the town of Santhiou Mekhé and in Ten Merina, a 29.5 MW solar photovoltaic plant in the region of Thiès, near Dakar. Both projects are currently in operation. In 2017, ENGIE signed a partnership with ANER, Senegal’s National Renewable Energy Agency which focuses on accelerating the development of renewable energy in the country. The Group is also implementing solar energy solutions for rural households in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon