The projects collectively aim to add over 1.35GW of low-carbon, renewable power to Portugal’s energy mix. The projects are in the early development stage and will be located in the regions of Moura, Castelo Branco, Mogadouro, Chamusca and Viseu. Lightsource bp’s investment into these solar projects also include local job creation, procurement of local services, infrastructure improvements, biodiversity enhancements and community initiatives. Once operational, these projects are in place for around 30 years, creating longer-term opportunities to build on additional economic development beyond producing renewable power locally.
Lightsource bp announced its move into the Iberian energy market in late 2018, initially setting up in Madrid, and in 2019 opened its office in Lisbon, with a highly experienced local team. In just two short years, Lightsource bp has grown its solar development pipeline to over 2 Gigawatts in Spain, and with this transaction, now boasts over 3.5 GW across Iberia. The company is also actively exploring opportunities for green hydrogen.
Solar is well suited to support Portugal’s National Energy and Climate Plan’s 2030 targets due to its scalability, short deployment cycles and having the lowest electricity generation costs in history. It is a cost-effective solution to meet the urgent need of rising energy demand through local and low-carbon solutions.
Solar is also becoming increasingly attractive to corporate buyers looking to reduce emissions, meet sustainability targets and diversify their energy mix.
Miguel Lobo, Country Head Portugal for Lightsource bp comments, “Solar is ideally placed to meet Portugal’s rapid expansion plans on growing its local renewable energy generation capacity as it has excellent irradiation levels, it is quick to deploy, and low-cost. If Portugal is efficient by adding new solar generation quickly, it will accelerate decarbonization and it will contribute to reduce electricity prices. There really is so much potential for solar within the energy mix. In addition, there are also opportunities with growing technologies like storage and green hydrogen that are attracting new investment players across the energy value chain, and that is a huge benefit to our country.”
“We will be developing these projects in partnership with local municipalities and communities. There are lots of additional economic opportunities to explore in addition to the renewable energy generation and local feedback will help shape our projects to local priorities”
Pedro Oliveira, head of country for bp Portugal says, “I am delighted that Lightsource bp will be developing clean and affordable solar energy for Portugal, supporting the national ambition to reach our 2030 renewable energy target. bp is committed to continue to support the transition to a lower carbon world, and to reach net zero by 2050 or sooner.”
Henrique Rodrigues, INSUN’s CEO comments, “Attracting a partner of Lightsource bp’s experience and track record is an endorsement of the quality of these five projects. Solar has a huge role to play in Portugal’s energy transition. The scale of this deal should demonstrate just how big that opportunity truly is. As a local company it will be hugely rewarding to collaborate with an international solar major and bring 1.35GW of clean energy online in Portugal.”
Powering Portugal’s green hydrogen ambitions
Portugal is aiming for a 47 percent share of renewables in its final energy use by 2030, across all sectors, not just the power sector. It is targeting up to 2.5GW of green hydrogen capacity by the end of the decade to further the decarbonisation of heat and transport. Billions of Euros of private investment is already flowing into Portugal for green hydrogen projects and there is huge potential for solar to help drive down production costs through cheap power generation.
Lightsource bp has successfully partnered with authorities in the UK and Australia to establish large-scale green hydrogen projects and is actively exploring green hydrogen projects in Portugal as well.