Galp lays claim to Iberian solar crown with new 2.9GW push

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Image credit: Roger Davies / Flickr

An oil and gas major has struck a deal to sponsor nearly 3GW of Spanish PV within four years, bringing yet more activity to a market said to have almost doubled PV capacity last year.

Lisbon-headquartered Galp claimed this week it has become the “largest Iberian solar power player” after joining forces with construction firm ACS Group, with plans to reach a portfolio of 2.9GW of PV in Spain by 2023 together.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

In a statement, the oil and gas group said the deal is due to close in Q2 2020, provided that “usual conditions” are met. The agreement, Galp said, covers an initial 900MW fleet of already up-and running PV, together with a 2GW batch that is either “underway” or awaiting licensing.

The group intends to invest €2.2 billion (US$2.42 billion) overall by 2023. The firm’s first step will be to cover, when the deal closes, initial payments of €450 million – plus €430 million in liabilities – to the already running plants. Project finance will then be raised for new developments.

Overall, Galp’s timetable to deliver the 2.9GW of PV by 2023 sets interim capacity targets for 2020 (1.4GW), 2021 (2.3GW) and 2022 (2.8GW). Reaching the 2.9GW may involve setting up partnerships with other renewable players, the firm said.

The group, with oil and gas operations in Brazil, Angola and others, emerged at various points in 2019 as the offtaker for Spanish solar plants. In Q4 2019 alone, the firm signed PPAs with developers X-Elio (a 200MW portfolio) and Grenergy (another 200MW).

Galp’s new 2.9GW push adds to the green moves by fossil fuel operators over the past weeks. Spain’s Repsol and Norway’s Equinor have both announced plans for net zero emissions by mid-century, with the IEA urging others at Davos this week to ramp up climate investments.

Spanish PV booms to 8.8GW in year of political shift

Should they materialise within four years, Galp’s ambitions for a 2.9GW PV portfolio in Spain would add yet another boost to one of Europe’s most active solar markets.

With 4.7GW added over 2019, the Southern European country was identified by industry rankings as the continent’s top PV installer last year, surpassing Germany’s 4GW. Analysts also found the country invested US$6 billion in PV projects last year, a figure they described as “impressive”.

This week, grid operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE) added to the bullish mood music as it said Spain switched on 6.4GW of new renewable capacity in 2019, almost 20 times more than the 330MW that had been linked to the grid in 2018.

The surge, REE found, was overwhelmingly driven by Spain’s renewable auction of 2017. Its figures showed nearly 5.7GW of the 6.4GW of new green energy added in 2019 were projects contracted at the tender two years prior, mainly PV (93 plants, 3.9GW all in all) and wind (86, 2.3GW).

According to REE, Spain’s 2019 rush means the country now hosts a renewable capacity of 55.2GW, of which 16% (8.8GW) is PV and 46% (25.4GW) is wind power. PV, the grid operator noted, produced 18.8% more power year-on-year and reached a daily peak of 34.7GWh on 23 August.

The renewable momentum finds the country in the midst of a political transition. The new government, elected after four polls in as many years, has declared a climate emergency and is enacting solar-friendly policies even as it deals with legal fallout from past subsidy u-turns.

The left-wing coalition now in power has proposed a reform of Spain’s renewable auction scheme, which PV operators have often criticised in the past. Under plans announced this month, the tenders would award capacity based on generation costs and not investment costs.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in Europe and beyond will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar Finance & Investment Europe (London, 5-6 February) and Large Scale Solar Europe 2020 (Lisbon, on 31 March-1 April 2020).

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

June 24, 2024
Israel-headquartered independent power producer (IPP) Econergy has sold a 214MW solar PV project in Romania.
June 24, 2024
The US has yet again been named the most attractive market for renewables investment and deployment opportunities, according to EY.
June 24, 2024
The first auction of Australia's Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) has received interest from more than 40GW of solar and wind projects.
June 21, 2024
UAE state-owned renewable energy developer Masdar has reached an agreement to buy 67% stake in Greece's Terna Energy.
June 21, 2024
NextEra Energy Resources has begun construction of a 310MW solar PV plant in Texas, US, offering power to INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA.
June 21, 2024
LONGi has announced a commercial M6 size wafer-level silicon-perovskite tandem solar cell with 30.1% efficiency at Intersolar Europe 2024.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia