Portugal fast-tracks 30 MW of small solar to help hard-pressed businesses

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Portugal’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Action has granted provisional approval for 220 self-consumption power projects with a combined generation capacity of 30 MW.

The move enables system owners to begin generating power immediately, without having to take the usual step of awaiting final approval.

Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said the approvals had been granted to enable system owners to benefit from lower energy bills during the Covid-19 pandemic. A state of emergency declared by Portuguese prime minister António Costa on March 19, in response to the spread of the coronavirus, had triggered constraints on power generation which have now been removed.

The usual approvals regime will be reinstated once the state of emergency is lifted, the ministry announced.

Portugal introduced new rules for renewable energy self-consumption, energy storage and energy communities in October.

Solar is expected to play a leading role in the Portuguese government’s new energy plan, which includes a goal of meeting 80% of the country’s power demand from renewables by 2030 and electrifying 65% of the economy by 2050.

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