Tender Launched for Five Floating Solar Power Plants in Portugal

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An international tender for constructing five floating solar power plants in Portugal has been floated. The tender was launched by Portugal’s Empresa de Desenvolvimento e Infraestruturas do Alqueva (EDIA) under the Ministry of Agriculture.

With a combined capacity of 4.5 MW, these floating solar power plants will be situated in Ferreira do Alentejo, Almeidas, Pias, Penedrão, and Monte Novo reservoirs. They will require an investment of approximately €4.3 million ($4.6 million).

This initial tender for the floating solar power plants is expected to be the first of four. Subsequent tenders will launch later in the year. The overall investment is projected to reach around €60 million, installing approximately 70 MW.

EDIA aims to replicate the success of its floating solar plant at the Cuba-Este reservoir. The plant has been operational since 2020.

Development of floating photovoltaic plants in Portugal

Floating PV plants have gained popularity in Portugal as a means to diversify the energy mix and achieve renewable energy goals. The country has identified suitable reservoirs and lakes for such installations. This has as a result led to optimising land utilisation and providing additional benefits like reduced water evaporation.

Portugal’s first floating PV plant was deployed in 2017 at the Alqueva Dam. Since then, the country has witnessed steady growth in this sector. These installations, consisting of solar panels mounted on floating structures, contribute electricity to the grid or nearby communities. Government support, collaboration with utilities and renewable energy companies, and funding programs and incentives have fostered a favourable investment environment.

Portugal’s expertise in offshore wind has also been valuable for developing floating solar projects. Both sectors encounter similar challenges. With its commitment to renewable energy and abundant sunshine and water resources, the future of floating PV in Portugal looks promising.