A record level of new-build renewables could be preparing to bid into the upcoming CfD round, according to analysis.
Cornwall Insight said the pipeline of onshore wind and solar projects has been growing significantly in the last year and it believes CfD eligible projects could now total around 8GW. With around four months to go before the application window opens for the fourth auction round, a rush of solar PV planning approvals could increase the pipeline further.
James Brabben, Head of Assets and Infrastructure at Cornwall Insight, said there could be “some interesting decisions for new-build plants” ahead.
If the CfD round is going to be ultra-competitive, he said it raises the question whether it is the right route to market for projects. Some developers may look to alternative options such as Corporate PPAs or look to find a commercial edge by incorporating other revenue streams such as co-located batteries.
Although alternatives may be available to new build generators, he added that “ultimately these options are still challenging and the bankability of the CfD contract is likely to incentivise solar and onshore wind generators to bid into the auction round process”.
The application window for the round will be open from 13 December to 14 January.