Floating photovoltaics: between negative offers and record size
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – The largest floating photovoltaic plant in Europe? It is being built in the Alqueva hydroelectric dam basin in Portugal. The aim is to put it into operation from July 2022.
The communication comes from the Reuters news agency that announces the launch, by ED Renewables, of the more than 12,000 solar panels that make up the Alqueva Floating Photovoltaic. Five GW of peak power, for an estimated output of 7.5 gigawatt hours per year, aided by a 2 GWh battery pack.
The record may not last long, given the amount of floating photovoltaic systems being built in Europe. However, the company is ready to further expand the project with another 70 MW floating and without the need for incentives. On the contrary, the new extension will pay the electricity system 4 euros for each megawatt hour produced in the first years of operation. How is this possible? Simple: future modules are part of the offer with which EDP won the last government auction for floating photovoltaics.
In detail, the producer was awarded 70 MVA of grid connection capacity with a CfD (contract for difference) at a negative price of less than 4 euro /MWh over a period of 15 years. The new project should be operational from 2025. But as EDPR explains, the grid connection capacity allocated to the auction will also allow the installation of an additional 14 MW of solar overcapacity and 70 MW of hybrid wind capacity (both excluded from the CfD).
“This project is a clear example of value creation through the hybridization of renewable technologies and the optimization of the network connection,” the company explains in a press release. “Success strengthens our low-risk profile and growth strategy based on the development of competitive projects with long-term visibility, favoring the acceleration of the energy transition and the decarbonisation of the economy”.