EDP plans to expand the Alqueva floating solar power plant

  • Lusa
  • 18 July 2022

The Portuguese company is planning expand the Alqueva floating solar power plant to increase from five to 70 megawatts (MW) of power.

EDP intends to expand the Alqueva floating solar power plant, inaugurated on Friday in the Alentejo, to increase from five to 70 megawatts (MW) of power, revealed the company’s CEO, Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade.

“This doesn’t stop here. We will then expand to around 70 MW”, or in other words, “multiply it almost by 15,” he said during his speech at the inauguration ceremony of the solar power plant, held at the Alqueva dam wall.

Miguel Stilwell d’Andrade said that EDP also plans to add “more wind and solar projects” in the Alqueva area to make up “an [overall] project of 150 MW.”

Regarding the plant inaugurated on Monday, the CEO considered that “it is a great example of combining innovation with a focus on energy transition”.

The floating solar park in the Alentejo reservoir, which involves an overall investment of 6€ million, consists of nearly 12,000 photovoltaic panels.

The plant’s floats, produced by a Spanish company, include cork composites developed by Portugal’s Amorim Cork Composites, of Corticeira Amorim.

The chief executive of EDP indicated that the company is “developing floating solar technology in Asia” and highlighted the “great potential” of this technology, including for export.

The floats are produced with Portuguese cork, he said, stressing that the aim is for them also to be used in other countries.

Prime minister, António Costa, in his speech at the session, praised the EDP project in Alqueva, considering that floating solar energy “has multiple advantages”.

One “has to do with the occupation of a space that is available and that has no other use”, he said, referring to the reservoir’s water surface, which still has a lot of available area.

“If 3% of the Alqueva area was occupied with solar panels, there would be 97% of area still free for all the other activities,” he specified.

This technology “helps to control water evaporation,” which is important in a country like Portugal, which “suffers severe droughts,” and contributes to “improving water quality, preventing the development of some plants,” he added.