Neoen has begun the construction of one of Portugal’s largest solar parks, with a capacity of 272MW. The park will comprise two contiguous solar farms, which are the 68MW Torre Bela Solar Farm, fully owned by Neoen, and the 204MW Rio Maior Solar Farm, owned in partnership with Aura Power. The facility is located at Herdade da Torre Bela, in the municipality of Azambuja, 70 km north of Lisbon and connected to the REN substation, in Rio Maior, via a 400 kV overhead line. Aldesa, one of the largest construction groups in Spain, has been given notice to proceed under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction turnkey contract. The commissioning of the solar park is scheduled for early 2024. Some 80% of the renewable energy produced will be purchased by the Portuguese State, under two 15-year power purchase agreements (PPA) awarded under the 2019 renewable capacity auction.
The PPAs are expected to start in the course of 2025. The remaining energy and certificates of origin will be sold on the electricity market. The solar park will be built in plots with an average size of 20 hectares, separated by green corridors to improve connections between almost 200 hectares of biodiversity protection areas. Over 6000 cork oaks, a protected tree species in Portugal, will be maintained in these protected spaces. A tree and shrub curtain will shield the panels from view, so that the solar farms blend in with the surrounding landscape. Bernardo dos Santos, Managing Director of Neoen Portugal, said: “It gives us great satisfaction to see the Rio Maior and Torre Bela solar farms get off the drawing board: their construction will bring Portugal closer to its objective of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. “I would like to thank the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action and all public institutions for their support over the past years. “We would also like to thank the people and local government in the surrounding community who have championed the project and the benefits it will bring.”
Credits: renews.biz [Image: Neoen]