The UAB Windfarm Akmene One project has won a Lithuanian technology neutral auction for an annual power output of 300 gigawatt hours with a zero subsidy bid, the country’s energy regulatory council said.

The regulator didn’t tell what capacity the winning wind project has.

According to UAB Akmene’s website, the first phase of the project near the country’s northern border with Latvia has a capacity of 75MW, with a construction start for 15 5MW turbines foreseen in mid-2020. A second phase with 325MW is planned a year later.

"To our knowledge, this is the first case in Europe in an onshore renewable energy auction for a developer to win with a zero bid," said Aistis Radavicius, chief executive at the Lithuanian wind power association.

"At the same time, however, it is important to note that this trend will not necessarily persist in subsequent auctions."

Subsidy-free onshore wind is becoming increasingly common in Northern Europe, but in onshore usually the zero-subsidy projects don’t enter government auctions and instead can count on PPAs.

In offshore wind by contrast, all zero subsidy projects being built (in the Netherlands and Germany) have participated in tenders.

Radavicius added: "This auction took place after a long investment gap, the market is hungry, and existing available grid capacity is limited, so we can consider such outcome as a result of the companies competing for network access rather than a financial supplement."

There were three projects entering the Lithuanian tender with zero bids, but UAB Akmene won as it had offered the highest annual production of electricity.

The wind project will be granted priority dispatch for 12 years into the Baltic country’s electricity grid from the start of electricity generation.

Lithuania has scheduled the next renewables auctioning round for May 29, 2020. That auction will be for 700GWh in annual production.