• The first solar energy auction in Portugal has attracted lowest winning bid of €14.76 per MWh which is lower than €45 per MWh of benchmark tariff, according to the country’s Energy Secretary Joao Galamba
  • Out of 24 projects awarded, 7 were reportedly won by Iberdrola while local companies EDP, Galp and Finerge couldn’t win anything
  • While Reuters says 1,150 MW was finally awarded, local news outlet Expresso claims the government has auctioned entire 1.4 GW on offer
  • Final list of winners is expected to be released by the country’s Directorate General for Energy and Geology by August 10, 2019

Portugal has concluded its first solar energy auction selecting 13 winners with licences for 24 projects. But what’s making news is that the lowest bid has come in at a world record low level of €14.76 ($16.46) per MWh, according to Secretary of State for Energy Joao Galamba, reported Reuters. The government is yet to announce the winners officially.

This is even lower than the lowest solar bid of $16.9 per MWh achieved during Brazil’s A-4 New Energy Auction in July 2019 (see Brazil’s A-4 Auction Sets Solar Tariff Record).

Under Portugal’s solar tender terms, bids were capped at €45 ($50) per MWh, and hence the winning bid is over 67% lower.

Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Negocios reported 7 licences out of 24 were secured by Spain’s utility Iberdrola, making it the largest winner; its as followed by France’s Akuo, which won 370 MW. Local players EDP, Galp and Finerge didn’t make the cut.

Another news outlet, Expresso argues EDP and Galp couldn’t stand the international competition since they are ‘little exposed to the solar business’. It speculates that Total Solar of France could be one of the winners. It did wonder if the lowest prices offered would enable the plants to cover the cost of project financing. Expresso reported, 1,400 MW was auctioned and will need to be built in 3 years which is ‘twice the photovoltaic capacity that Portugal has today in operation’.

However, Reuters says 1,150 MW was finally awarded against 1.4 GW offered after several deductions which is quite surprising since the government had said it received over 10 GW of new capacity offers initially (see Portugal’s Solar Auction Heavily Oversubscribed).

Guess everyone will have to wait for the final official word from the country’s Directorate-General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) by August 10, 2019 when it is expected to release final list of winners.