World’s largest private solar PPA signed in Iberia


From pv magazine Spain.

After signing a 20-year PPA for the 46 MW Ourika PV plant in Portugal on Tuesday, with Irish firm WElink Investment Holdings, Spanish renewable energy company Audax Renovables today inked another 20-year PPA – for a 708 MW portfolio of plants to be developed in Spain and Portugal by WElink.

The PPA, which includes the Ourika plant, “marks a historic milestone in the European energy market for energy produced with photovoltaic solar technology”, said Audax.

Under the terms of the agreement, Audax will buy, at an undisclosed fixed price, all the electricity produced by the Solara4 and Ourika plants plus that generated by projects to be developed this year and next by WElink in Iberia. Audax, however, will not be buying the power from WElink, as German insurance group Allianz Capital Partners will acquire the completed facilities from WElink.

The Solara4 plant, being built in Alcoutim, in Portugal’s southern Algarve region, will have a capacity of 218.8 MW, and will be connected to the grid by the middle of this year. It will incorporate 700,000 high-efficiency modules and will be the largest subsidy-free solar plant in Europe backed by a long-term private PPA. Ourika, also in the south of Portugal, is currently the largest operational PV plant in the country.

Soaring share price

According to Spanish media, the agreement raised Audax’s stock price, which is among the most bullish on the Spanish stock market after shooting up around 4% and reaching a price of €2.69 per share. The company’s stock price has risen more than 118% this year.

Audax Renovables is Portugal’s sixth biggest energy supplier to small businesses and seventh largest for industrial clients, according to the Market Liberalized Electricity Report published by the nation’s Energy Services Regulatory Authority in December.

The Portuguese government has stated an ambition to develop 31 new PV projects up to 2021, with a total generation capacity of 1.1 GW, of which Audax will manage 267 MW.

In March last year, Audax signed a PPA with Cox Energy for around 660 MW of solar capacity, a deal which was at that point the largest agreement signed to purchase energy from PV to date – a benchmark the company has now smashed.

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