Renewable energy producer Neoen has begun construction on what it is calling Portugal’s largest PV plant, a 272MWp facility comprising two contiguous solar projects. The park is expected to be commissioned in early 2024.
Located in the municipality of Azambuja, the park will consist of the Torre Bela solar farm (68MWp) and the Rio Maior solar farm (204MWp), which is co-owned with Aura Power. The park will be connected to the REN substation by a 400kV overhead line.
The park is expected to produce around 500GWh of electricity once fully operational. 80% of the power produced by the two projects will be purchased by the Portuguese state through two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPA) expected to kick in in 2025, whilst the remaining capacity will be sold on the electricity market.
Bernardo dos Santos, managing director of Neoen Portugal, said: “It gives us great satisfaction to see the Rio Maior and Torre Bela solar farms get off the drawing board: their construction will bring Portugal closer to its objective of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”
Spanish construction group Aldesa will oversee engineering, procurement and construction for the project; Neoen said that the park will be constructed in plots of 20 hectares separated by green corridors to maintain local areas of biodiversity, and that 6,000 cork oak trees will be preserved in the protected spaces around the park.
Last week, Neoen signed a 90MW PPA with clothing retailer H&M for a solar park it operates in Sweden.
The Portuguese government recently announced changes to the permitting process for Solar projects, reducing the environmental assessments required for projects of up to 100 hectares.