Galp looking to invest €98.7M in expanding solar energy plant in Alentejo region

  • Lusa
  • 30 March 2022

Galp group plans to invest about €98.7 million in the expansion of the Ourique photovoltaic plant in Beja district.

Portugal’s diversified energy producer, the Galp group, plans to invest about €98.7 million in the expansion of the Ourique photovoltaic plant in Beja district (Alentejo), and the project is in the public consultation phase until May 6.

According to the non-technical summary of the Environmental Impact Study (EIA), consulted on Wednesday by Lusa news agency, the “Ourique II Photovoltaic Power Plant” project is the responsibility of ISDC – International Solar Development Corporation, which is part of the Galp group.

With a lifespan of “around 30 years”, the new infrastructure will have a capacity of 158.33 megawatts (MW) and aims to “complement” the capacity already installed at the Ourique photovoltaic power plant, of 250 MW.

The project envisages the placement of 239,904 photovoltaic panels on an area of 248.2 hectares in the Parish of Panóias and Conceição, in the municipality of Ourique, in the Alentejo, with an estimated production of around 357,767 megawatt hours per year (MWh/year).

According to the EIA, construction work is expected to begin “in the first half of 2023” and be concluded “in the second half of 2024”.

The energy produced will then be “sold” in “organised markets or through bilateral contracts with end customers or electricity traders,” the document states.

According to the same study, the Ourique II power plant “will contribute to meeting national targets for energy production from renewable sources”.

Alongside this goal, the investment aims to “be a driving force of sustainability strategies for the municipality of Ourique” and “calls” to this municipality “researchers with doctorates in areas related to solar energy”.

The promoters of the new infrastructure also aim to “boost, in partnership with Ourique council, the regional strategy for reactivation, electrification and upgrading” of the railway line between Beja and Funcheira.

The objectives of the ISDC project are also to “enable a strategy to combat desertification and increase the capacity to retain rainwater” and to install a flock of 2,000 campaniças sheep on the site, a “local breed on the verge of extinction”.