Winners, prices of Portugal’s record-breaking auction for floating PV


From pv magazine Spain

Portugal awarded 183 MW of renewables capacity in an auction for floating PV projects this week. Around 56% of the capacity was awarded under the contract-for-difference regime (103 MW), and the rest under the National Electricity System Compensation scheme (80 MW).

In a statement, the Portuguese Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action states that it expects an average price of electricity of €0.041025 ($0.045)/kWh from the auction.

There were two lots with fixed prices in the auction. One lot concluded with a price of €0.04103/kWh and another at the lowest rate in the world, with a value of €-0.0413/kWh – equivalent to a 110% discount on the ceiling price initially set by the government. This bid was submitted by EDP Renewables (EDPR), the renewable energy unit of Energias de Portugal (EDP), whose largest shareholder is state-owned China Three Gorges.

Most of the remaining lots were awarded under the National Electricity System Compensation, in which a weighted average contribution of approximately €47,400 per MW/year was achieved. This remuneration offers a compensation expressed in euros per megawatt per year that will be paid to the network operator for grid-connection rights.

In addition to EDPR, Endesa Portugal – the Portuguese unit of Spanish energy company Endesa – reported on Monday that it won lot four, the third-largest in the tender. The project in Alto Rabagão, Vila Real, will have to wait until 2023 to start operating. It is a 42.5 MW floating solar power plant that will be bundled in a project with 48 MW of wind power and 16 MWh of battery storage.

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Portugal-based Finerge has won lots five, six and seven, which correspond to the Paradela (13 MW), Salamonde (8 MW), and Vilar-Tabuaço (17 MW) reservoirs, respectively. Lot seven, from Tabuaço, was the most disputed, with 24 rounds. It was also the last to be completed in the entire auction. Finerge told pv magazine the prices of each lot were €4k/MW/year for lot five, €8k/MW/year for lot six, and €103 k/MW/year for lot seven, all for periods of 15 years.

“Since only six lots were actually disputed (because lot two has not yet been awarded), Finerge won 50% of the lots, the total of those that were proposed,” a spokesperson for the company explained.

Finerge currently has 68 wind farms and 17 solar plants in operation. It has nearly 1 GW under development, between Portugal and Spain, in addition to 38 MW of the new floating solar plants.

France's Voltalia also won one of the lots in the tender. The Cabril project, in Sertã, will have an installed capacity of between 33 MW and 40 MW, depending on the final optimization of the project. It is expected to be operational no later than 2026.

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