Portuguese utility EDP has won the largest project in Portugal’s latest procurement exercise. It has agreed to pay –€4(–$4.39)/MWh for a 15-year contract, but with a 30-year grid connection for the floating array and other renewables projects.
Portugal’s Directorate General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) wrapped up the country’s first auction for floating PV projects this week.
The regulator selected seven projects ranging in size from 8MW to 100MW, for a total capacity of 263MW. It launched the procurement exercise in late November. The projects will be built at seven different dams: Alqueva, Castelo de Bode, Cabril, Alto Rabagão, Paradela, Salamonde, and Tabuaço.
EDPR, the renewables unit of EDP, won the biggest project, at 100MW. The floating PV plant will be built under a contract for difference (CfD) regime at a negative price of –€4/MWh over a period of 15 years. This means that EDP will pay the electrical system €4 for each megawatt-hour the floating solar plant generates over the course of 15 years. Neither the additional 14MW of solar nor the wind power is included in the CfD. The project will come online in 2025, with immediate connection availability, according to the company.
In a statement to Portuguese Securities Market Commission (Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários), EDPR said it “expects that the grid connection capacity awarded in the auction will allow the installation of up to 154 MW of renewable energy, including 70 MW of floating photovoltaic solar energy selected in the auction, in addition to 14 MW of additional solar and the hybridization of 70MW of wind capacity, both excluded from the auction.”
Image: Ministerio de Ambiente e Ação Climática de Portugal
In the announcement for the late-November launch of the auction, former Portuguese Environment Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes said that the grid capacity awarded in the auction would be for a period of 30 years. He explained that “the production would be ensured for 30 years,” but the auction contract would be for 15 years. “Whoever bids, for 15 years produces electricity in the conditions that result from the auction. Then they have the other 15 years to produce under normal market conditions.”
In November, EDPR paid €600 million for an 87.4% stake in Sunseap, a floating PV specialist and Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest solar operator.
Endesa Portugal also said this week that it has won a floating solar project in Alto Rabagão, in the district of Vila Real, from the third-largest lot in the tender. The project will start operating in 2023, with 42.5MW of floating solar, 48MW of wind power, and 16MWh of battery storage.