Europe’s Largest Solar Power Farm Planned In Portugal

Iberdrola Gets Green Light To Build World’s ‘5th’ Largest Solar PV Project With 1.2 GW Capacity In Portugal
Pictured is Iberdrola’s 590 MW Francisco Pizarro Solar Power Plant in Spain, currently holding the title of the largest PV project in Europe. It will soon be replaced by another Iberdrola plant of 1.2 GW capacity in Portugal. (Photo Credit: Iberdrola)
Pictured is Iberdrola’s 590 MW Francisco Pizarro Solar Power Plant in Spain, currently holding the title of the largest PV project in Europe. It will soon be replaced by another Iberdrola plant of 1.2 GW capacity in Portugal. (Photo Credit: Iberdrola)
  • Iberdrola has obtained environmental clearance to build 1.2 GW solar power plant in Portugal
  • It will be Europe's largest and the world's 5th largest solar power station, according to the company
  • The Fernando Pessoa PV plant will come up in Santiago do Cacém, near Sines

After energizing the largest solar power plant in Europe with 590 MW capacity in Spain in August 2022, Spanish energy player Iberdrola has now secured environmental approval to build an even bigger facility with 1.2 GW capacity in Portugal which it says will not only be Europe's largest PV plant, but also the world's 5th largest (see Iberdrola Puts 590 MW Francisco Pizarro Project Into Operation).

The project capacity also exceeds the 1.04 GW PV project that Rezolv Energy of Actis acquired in Romania in late 2022, accompanied by a 135 MW battery energy storage system (BESS). It is scheduled to enter commercial operations in H1/2023 (see Europe's 'Largest Ever' Solar Plant With 1 GW Capacity).

Named after the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, the 1.2 GW solar power station of Iberdrola has already secured land in Santiago do Cacém, near Sines, and a grid connection clearance with Portuguese operator REN. It is scheduled to enter commercial operations in 2025.

It is expected to generate up to 2,500 jobs and will have space for sheep grazing. Company said it will introduce beehives in a bid to improve local ecosystem stability and also boost crop yields in the nearby farmland.

"Fernando Pessoa will be a groundbreaking solar farm, on a scale that Europe has never seen before. A project of this scale and ambition was unimaginable only a few years ago, but Iberdrola has the technical expertise and the financial strength to make it a reality. We look forward to maintaining our central role in Portugal's ambitious clean energy future," said Country Manager of Iberdrola Renovables Portugal, Alejandra Reyna.

Iberdrols has its eyes set on Portugal with plans to invest an additional €3 billion in wind and solar energy over the coming years, while it continues to bring online 270 MW PV capacity won by the company under Portuguese capacity auctions of 2019 and 2020.

Hit by the energy crisis of Europe, Portugal is bringing in strong policy framework to boost renewable energy deployment to ensure self-sufficiency. In December 2022, the government introduced a new legislative package, Ambiente+Simples, to simplify environmental licensing for renewable energy projects (see Portugal Goes In For Environmental Licensing Reform).

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