In July of this year, Europe’s largest floating solar park will be established in Portugal’s Alqueva reservoir. The park, built by EDP, Portugal’s main utility company, will feature 12,000 solar panels, covering an area as large as four football pitches floating on the reservoir.
Portugal, blessed with ample sunshine and Atlantic winds, has been accelerating its shift to renewable energy sources.
This solar project is part of the country’s plan to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels, especially given the rising prices of these fuels following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Producing 7.5 Gigawatts/Hours
The floating solar park on the Alqueva reservoir, which is primarily used for hydropower generation, will have an installed capacity of 5 megawatts (MW) and is expected to produce 7.5 gigawatts/hours (GWh) of electricity annually.
To enhance its efficiency, the solar park will be complemented by batteries with a storage capacity of 2 GWh.
Cutting the Cost by One Third
Once operational, the solar panels will be able to supply electricity to around 1,500 families, meeting about one-third of the energy needs of nearby towns such as Moura and Portel.
Miguel Patena, EDP’s group director overseeing the solar project, highlighted that the electricity produced from this floating park would cost one-third of what a gas-fired power plant would incur. This makes it a cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy solution.
The project marks a significant milestone in renewable energy development, being the largest floating solar park on a dam reservoir in Europe.
This innovative approach allows solar panels to utilize existing infrastructure, providing a sustainable solution to cut carbon emissions.
EDP’s inauguration of this 5MW floating solar plant represents a substantial advancement in renewable energy and showcases its commitment to energy transition and innovation.
Powering 30% of the Region’s Population
With the potential to power over 30% of the region’s population, this project contributes significantly to Portugal’s renewable energy goals.
The solar park, spanning the size of four football pitches, will undoubtedly make a notable impact in the fight against climate change.