Portugal announced that it would conduct its third solar auction in September as it looks to allocate 500 MW of floating solar capacity. Through the current tender, which resulted in record-low prices, the country aims to support the deployment of floating solar on at least seven reservoirs through its next tender process. The proposed plants will be located next to hydropower plants so that existing grid infrastructure can be used. One of the selected dams, Alto Rabagão, already hosts a 220 kWp floating solar pilot project developed by EDP.
Portugal aims to meet 80 per cent of its total power demand from renewables by 2030, by which time 9GW of solar PV is expected to be deployed in the country. Many bidders are expected to participate in the tender as the Portuguese government aims to avoid potential land availability issues in the future by pushing for floating solar development. Though it will not feature in the current year, plans were announced to also include land beside motorways to host solar projects in the upcoming auction.
Record-low bids were discovered in each of the solar auctions conducted in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Last year’s solar auction awarded 670MW of capacity and saw Spanish renewables company Enerland post the record-low-bid of Euro 11.14 per MWh for a 10MW lot. Both Portugal’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Action as well as winning bidders from the auction and have begun developing their allotted capacities.