‘Historic’ result as Portugal claims record-low prices in 700MW solar auction

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Portugal’s second solar auction has closed with record-breaking low prices of €11.14/MWh (US$13.12), or US$0.0131/kWh, the country’s government announced this afternoon.

Of the 700MW available for auction, 670MW was awarded, with Hanwha Q CELLS winning half of the 12 lots with bids that included battery storage. Other winners included Tag Energy, Iberdrola and Enel, with the majority of the lots including battery storage.

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The lowest bid falls below the previous industry record tariff of US$0.0135/kWh set by the Al Dhafra project in Abu Dhabi in April. It also comes in around 25% lower than the lowest bid in Portugal’s first PV tender last year, which was €14.76/MWh and at the time itself a record.

Held on 24 and 25 August, the latest auction was for lots in Portugal's southern regions of Alentejo and Algarve. Originally due to take place in spring, it was delayed due COVID-19. Speaking to PV Tech earlier in the year, Portuguese secretary of state for energy João Galamba said it was necessary to postpone the tender for it to be as successful as last year’s.

Galamba was satisfied with the outcome. The results show that Portugal is among “the most competitive countries in the world in terms of solar,” he wrote in social media, adding: “What happened today is historic.”

Portugal’s government said the solar auctions took place to create new business opportunities and promote a reduction in the cost of electricity. It added that taxpayers will save €559 million over the next 15 years as a result of the auctions.

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