Portugal’s 1.4 GW auction delayed to mid-July

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The Portuguese Directorate-General of Energy and Geology (DGEG) has published the terms and conditions of its pending 1.4 GW solar energy auction although the exercise has been delayed from the end of this month to mid July, according to local media.

In its auction documents, the DGEG said it will notify participants through its Bidding Portal and by email of the start date of the bidding process and will include a calendar of the various auctions to take place.

Developers will have to submit bids through an online platform from Monday to June 30. Projects must have a generation capacity no lower than 10 MW if connected to a grid with a voltage of 15-60 kV. For grid connections with a 150-400 kV voltage, solar projects must be larger than 50 MW in capacity.

The auction will be held by Operador Do Mercado Ibérico De Energia, S.a, a subsidiary of Portugal’s grid operator Redes Energéticas Nacionais, SGPS, S.A. For each lot admitted to the auction one or more connection substations will be available along with identification of the voltage level and temporal availability of the receiving capacity.

Last week, Portuguese state secretary for energy João Galamba revealed the procurement exercise has so far attracted around 300 potential bidders.

Maps for available capacity

On its website, the DGEG has published maps of grid availability in the four regions entitled to host projects selected in the auctions.

Of the 1.4 GW of capacity to be auctioned off, 750 MW will be assigned in central-northern Portugal’s Centro region and 340 MW will be allocated to the central Lisboa e Vale do Tejo area. Sunnier regions farther south in Alentejo and Algarve will be allocated only 235 MW and 30 MW, respectively.

In February, when the first details of the auction were announced, the Portuguese government approved a €535 million plan to make its grid strong enough to absorb more intermittent renewable energy up to 2027 – the Plano de Desenvolvimento e Investimento da Rede de Transporte de Eletricidad.