• EDP is seeking government approval to develop a 4 MW floating solar power plant in Portugal’s Alentejo region
  • It will be developed on 4-hectare reservoir space at the Alqueva dam and is expected to generate 6 GWh of clean power annually
  • Municipalities of Portel and Moura in Alqueva will procure power from this proposed floating PV project
  • EDP plans to use 10,750 solar panels for the floating solar plant; energy storage component is also being visualized

Energias de Portugal SA (EDP), electricity utility in Portugal is to invest €3.5 million ($3.94 million) on deploying solar panels for a planned 4 MW floating solar power plant at the Alqueva dam in Alentejo. The project will need 4 hectares of the reservoir space and generate around 6 GWh of clean energy annually on completion, reported local media.

The floating PV plant will use 10,750 solar panels and will be accompanied by an energy storage system, possibly based on lithium-ion batteries. Power generated by the plant will supply clean power to the municipalities of Portel and Moura in Alqueva.

Still at licensing stage, EDP expects the Alqueva Floating Photovoltaic System to start commercial operations in 2020. Currently the administration is seeking public consultation on the project. Feedback and comments can be submitted by June 28, 2019.

About the Alqueva project, EDP says on its website, “EDP’s new floating solar project is aligned with regulatory changes in Portugal that open the door to hybridization and photovoltaic solar auctions, the combination of energy from multiple renewable energy sources with that from conventional power plants.”

This project would technically be EDP’s first full-fledged floating solar power plant as the previous one developed at the reservoir of Alto Rabagão dam was at a smaller scale on a pilot basis in 2017. The 220 kW project generates around 300 MWh of clean power annually. EDP wanted to research the implications, advantages and disadvantages of installing the floating platforms of the PV conversion panels installed alongside hydropower production source.

In April 2019, EDP announced it will deploy 3.8 MW solar power capacity in the form of 2 solar PV production units for self-consumption of the facilities owned by battery maker Exide Technologies Lda in Castanheira do Ribatejo and Azambuja. Both projects will be operational by Q1/2020 and will be EDP’s largest solar PV farm with energy storage in the country. Exide will provide batteries for this project.

Portugal is on its way to hold its first solar auction with 1.35 GW capacity on offer. It is scheduled to take place in summer 2019 (see Portugal Solar Auction To Have 1.35 GW Capacity).