EDP Renewables commissions second solar-plus-wind hybrid project in Portugal

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A hybrid solar-wind project in Portugal.
A hybrid solar-wind project in Portugal. Image: EDP Renewables

EDP Renewables, the clean power arm of Portuguese energy company EDP, has commissioned its second solar-plus-wind hybrid project in Portugal, which boasts a generation capacity of 43.8MW.

The developer has started commercial operations at the Monte de Vez PV plant, a 21MW solar project that will share a space with the company’s São João wind farm, which has been in operation since 2008. EDP Renewables also noted that the new solar installation uses 36,000 bifacial solar panels, although it did not specify a supplier.

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The hybrid renewables park extends over the Coimbra and Leiria districts on the west coast of Portugal, between Porto and Lisbon, and the installation of solar generation capacity at the facility is an important development for a company that has historically relied on wind power to meet its generation targets.

As of 2022, EDP Renewables had an installed wind capacity of 13GW, accounting for 59% of its total power generation capacity, significantly more than the 1.87GW of operating solar capacity. However, the company has sought to expand the latter portfolio, and acquired a 1.5GW renewables portfolio in Australia earlier this year, and the developer’s leadership is keen to expand its clean power portfolio further.

“This project is part of EDP’s strategy to continue accelerating the national energy transition, whether by investing in new renewable projects or optimising those that have already served the regions where they are located,” said Hugo Costa, head of EDP Renewables in Portugal.

“We will continue to develop hybrid projects in Portugal and expect to implement another 700MW in similar projects in the coming years.”

Projects such as these are also encouraging developments for the Portuguese power sector as a whole, with the co-location of solar and wind projects helping to limit the need for the potentially expensive and time-consuming process of constructing grid connection infrastructure. This is especially significant as the Portuguese government is aiming to install 20.4GW of new solar capacity by the end of the decade.

Earlier this month, at Solar Media’s Solar Finance & Investment Europe event, Alfonso Zuloaga, senior corporate banker, energy, at Intesa Sanpaolo, explained that there is a “significant increase in capital needs” for Portuguese renewables developers that are trying to reach these government targets. EDP Renewables could be one of the firms able to meet this growing need; last year, the company announced plans to invest US$22.7 billion (€21 billion) into its renewable portfolio until 2026.

PV Tech publisher Solar Media will be organising the 12th annual edition of Large Scale Solar Europe in Lisbon, Portugal, 26-27 March. The event will explore the solar manufacturing future in Europe, panel on several markets including Italy, Ireland and Czechia as well as permitting and planning bottlenecks among others. More information, including how to attend, can be read here.

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