Solar energy production in Portugal has undergone a rapid expansion in an attempt to realise the high potential the country possesses with irradiation levels of 1860kWh/per year in the south and 1590kWh in the north. The increased growth is beginning to pay dividends, as a report in May 2022 produced by the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energy (APREN) showed that solar-powered energy accounted for 8.2% of the country’s total electricity production which is the largest proportion recorded. However, there is still room for further growth. Solar ranked fourth in total energy production by renewable sources, behind wind (25%), hydro (13%), and biomass (10%). Portugal aims to add 9.2GW of new power capacity by 2030, with over 80% coming from solar, with numerous projects released by the Portuguese government for auction in 2019 and 2020 to help achieve this target.
1) Lightsource BP (United Kingdom)
The UK developer in coordination with Portuguese company INSUN will invest €900m in Portuguese solar over the space of 6 years, creating over 3000 jobs. The investment will be used to develop five solar parks located in Moura, Castelo Branco, Mogaduoro, Chamusca, and Viseu. In total, the solar parks will have an installed capacity of over 1.35GW which puts Lightsource as one of the leading developers of Portuguese solar. These projects represent the cornerstone for Portugal to achieve their renewables target by 2030.
2) Iberdrola (Spain)
The Spanish energy giants have commenced construction of four solar farms in Portugal which were acquired in the 2019 auction. The four solar parks are located in Algeruz, Conde, and Alcochete. The solar parks have a total installed capacity of 86MW and will provide enough green energy to supply 48,000 Portuguese households. The projects represent the first solar parks Iberdrola will develop in the country, in addition to their previously completed Portuguese wind projects. The projects will be completed using state-of-the-art tracking technology and the two Alchoete parks will use bifacial technology which allows for more efficient solar generation, reducing the average electricity cost by 16%.
3) WElink (Ireland)
The Irish renewables developer first gained a foothold in the Portuguese market in 2019 with the acquisition of the £200m Solera4 solar park in the Algarve. Construction was completed towards the end of 2019 and the solar park has an installed capacity of 220MW, making it the largest subsidy-free solar park in Europe at the time. Since then, WElink also announced the development of their 46MW Ourika project, located in Ourique. The project was co-developed with Welink’s strategic partner China Triumph International Engineering (CTIEC) and was acquired from Solaer Group.
Image Source Unsplash 22.06.2022