Portugal’s solar campaign back on track as 700MW auction launches

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Unlike last year's region-agnostic tender, this year's 700MW successor will exclusively target the southern regions of Alentejo and Algarve. Image credit: Cristiano Pinto

Portugal has now fired the starting pistol of a solar tender it had been forced to delay by the COVID-19 crisis, amid plans to declare the winners by the end of the summer.

The 700MW solar auction initially due to launch in the spring kicked off instead today (8 June 2020), with a Portuguese Energy Ministry spokesperson telling PV Tech that applications will be accepted until 31 July 2020.

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

Having launched the two-month qualification phase today, the government expects actual, hard bidding to begin around the last week of August, the spokesperson said, adding: “The auction solar winners are likely to be known in the very first days of September.”

The tentative timetable emerges after Portugal postponed the tender in late March, amid efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Energy state secretary João Galamba told PV Tech the country was “ready to go” but had decided to “pause for the general situation to calm down”.

In the intervening weeks, details have emerged around how Portugal will assign the solar contracts across three modalities, including (see below) two solar-only categories already rolled out for last year’s tender and a third basket open to projects featuring a storage element.

In late May, new government documents indicated that the plan is to put forward 12 contract lots for bidders. In the first of three categories, bidding will start at an initial maximum price of €41.54-41.73/MWh (US$46.37-46.58/MWh).

The figure marks a drop on the €45/MWh ceiling prices Portugal had set for its 1.15GW solar tender in 2019, which ended up producing individual tariffs of €14.76/MWh. The number has since been described as a global solar cost milestone but also a figure PV players “cannot survive on”.

The inner workings of Portugal's 700MW solar auction

1 – Having launched today (8 June 2020), the upcoming tender features the following three modalities:

  • Solar developers bidding for 15-year fixed-price PPAs (this is the category France's Akuo Energy was part of when it scored the €14.76/MWh tariff)
  • Solar developers accepting to pay in return for the right to produce at market prices, also for 15 years (this is the category Iberdrola was part of as it reaped 149MW in contracts)
  • Storage developers: According to state secretary Galamba (see here for full explanation), the new modality will work as a “quid pro quo” insurance-type scheme. Storage developers will receive from the system an annual fixed price per MW installed; by competing in the auction, they will bid down the prices they are prepared to receive. In return, they will insure the system against price rises beyond a certain level, compensating it when market prices climb over strike prices.

2 – Where last year's 1.15GW auction was open to projects all across the country, this year's 700MW successor will exclusively target the southern regions of Alentejo and Algarve.

3 – According to Galamba, the government's plan as of late March 2020 is that the 700MW solar tender will be followed by another exercise of 500MW (the figure is indicative) towards the end of this year.

21 August 2024
5pm BST
FREE WEBINAR -This webinar will feature the perspectives and views of PV Tech’s Head of Research, Dr. Finlay Colville, on how the U.S. PV manufacturing landscape is changing today and when we might expect additions to encompass cells and wafers. This will be followed by a PV Tech special – a look inside one of the first new PV module fabs built in the U.S. this year; SEG Solar’s new site in Texas. Join Jim Wood, CEO at SEG Solar, as he walks around the new factory showing key features and explaining the rational for SEG Solar in making this investment into U.S. PV manufacturing in 2024.
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

July 19, 2024
PV Lighthouse has secured AU$1.97 million from ARENA to aid the development of its digital twin software for utility-scale solar PV projects.
July 18, 2024
US solar manufacturer First Solar has opened its new research and development (R&D) centre in Ohio after almost two years of construction.
July 18, 2024
EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA) has inaugurated the 200MW/40MW  Scarlet I solar-plus-storage project in Fresno County, California.
July 18, 2024
US-based off-grid solar product manufacturer d.light has secured US$176 million to support its PayGo consumer loan offering in three African countries.
July 18, 2024
The facility can process up to 100,000 tonnes of decommissioned solar modules per year that can reduce electronic waste sent to landfills.
Premium
July 18, 2024
“We believe this policy will unlock opportunities for renewables as it increases electricity supply avenues."

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA