- Octopus Energy has expanded its geographical footprint in the space of renewables to Portugal
- It has invested in FFNEV that targets to scale up activities in Spain and Portugal, with plans to build 1.6 GW new solar and storage in these and other countries by 2030
- Iberdrola has secured €70 million green loan from the EIB for its 1st solar projects with 188 MW capacity in Portugal
- Neoen, along with Aura Power, has started constructing what it terms as the largest solar plant in Portugal to date with 272 MW capacity
Having simplified its environmental licensing regime for renewable energy projects, Portugal is seeing an uptick in activity related to solar PV technology with Octopus Energy entering the country’s green generation market, Iberdrola securing European Investment Bank (EIB) finance for its solar projects here and Neoen building the country’s largest solar plant.
UK based Octopus Energy has ventured into the country’s green generation market with an investment in Spain’s FF New Energy Ventures (FFNEV) through the Octopus Energy Development Partnership (OEDP).
FFNEV currently has a portfolio of 2.1 GW renewable energy capacity in the pipeline and plans scale up activities in Spain and Portugal and also expand into new European markets and Latin America. It is targeting 1.6 GW new solar and storage sites by 2030 in these markets, apart from 5 GW floating offshore wind development.
Spain’s Iberdrola has also secured €70 million green loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to construct its first solar plants in Portugal with 188 MW capacity. Most of these facilities are located in rural areas in Algarve, Centro, Alentejo and Lisbon, which Iberdrola won during 2019 auctions.
The European energy giant will construct this capacity as 37 MW Montechoro I and II, 46 MW Alcochete I and II, 27 MW Algeruz, 14 MW Conde and 64 MW Carregado projects. By 2023, Iberdrola targets to triple its solar power capacity in Portugal.
Iberdrola sees Portugal as a strategic country for energy transition where it plans to invest an additional €3 billion in the coming years for new solar, wind, storage and green hydrogen projects, over and above more than €2 billion it has already invested here.
Recently, France’s Neoen started constructing what it terms as the largest solar power plant to date in Portugal with 272 MW capacity. Made up of 2 contiguous projects—68 MW Torre Bela Solar Farm and 204 MW Rio Maior Solar Farm in joint ownership with Aura Power, the project is located at Herdade da Torre Bela, in the municipality of Azambuja.
The French company expects the project to come online in early 2024. Around 80% of its total capacity is contracted to be sold to the government under 2 separate 15-year power purchase agreements (PPA) that should come into effect from 2025. Remaining energy and certificates will be sold on the electricity market.
Portugal aims to grow the share of renewable energies into its electricity mix to 80% by 2026. Its current installed solar power capacity exceeds 2 GW so there is a lot of scope to grow here. Recently, the country also eased its permitting rules for renewables to speed up their deployment under a new legislative package (see Portugal Goes In For Environmental Licensing Reform).
The country joined the top 10 solar markets of the European Union in 2022. It entered the 7th rank after turning into an annual GW-scale market, increasing installations to 2.5 GW in 2022, up from 0.7 GW in 2021, according to SolarPower Europe’s EU Market Outlook (see European Union To Exit 2022 With Over 41 GW Solar Installed)