Portugal postpones 700 MW solar auction again

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Portugal’s state secretary for energy, João Galamba, has announced the 700 MW solar auction planned for April has been postponed for an unspecified period.

“The planned auction will have to wait for the markets to calm down,” Galamba said on it Twitter account, without explicitly mentioning the Covid-19 pandemic as the cause.

The state secretary also announced the launch of a portal for future solar auctions.

All the generation capacity assigned in the postponed exercise was due to be allocated in the southern regions of Alentejo and the Algarve, according to Portuguese newspaper Expresso. The newspaper reported projects with a capacity of up to 10 MW were due to be connected to the grid of EDP Distribuição with 10-50 MW facilities to be hooked up to the high-voltage network of national grid operator REN.

The exercise had already been postponed by the Portuguese government in mid-January.

The country’s first solar auction, held last summer, saw the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology allocate 1.15 GW of solar capacity – less than the 1.4 GW originally planned despite the exercise being oversubscribed. The auction delivered a world record low solar electricity price offer of €0.0147/kWh for a 150 MW project by the Akuo Renováveis Portugal unit of French developer Akuo Energy. However some analysts have questioned whether that bid should be considered a true benchmark. The second and third-lowest bids in the auction were submitted by U.S. asset management fund EverStream Capital Management and Lisbon-based developer Power&Sol Energias Renováveis SA, who will generate solar power for €0.01637 and €0.0171/kWh, respectively.