€70 million solar park inaugurated in Alcoutim

€70 million solar park inaugurated in Alcoutim

Solar park in Alcoutim is capable of producing enough energy to supply 80,000 families

Portuguese energy corporation Galp inaugurated today a €70 million solar park in the Algarve municipality of Alcoutim.

The 144MWp (megawatt peak) park is capable of producing enough energy to supply 80,000 families, avoiding the emission of 75,000 tons of CO2, the corporation says in a statement to the press.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro; the Mayor of Alcoutim, Osvaldo Gonçalves; the Executive President of Galp, Filipe Silva; and Galp’s Executive Vice-President of Renewable Energy, Georgios Papadimitriou.

Comprising four photovoltaic plants – S. Marcos, Viçosa, Pereiro, and Albercas – the solar park features 252,532 solar panels spread over an area of 250 hectares. With these plants, the company currently has an installed capacity of 1.4 GW, ensuring 5.5% of the photovoltaic power in the Iberian Peninsula, the corporation states.

Solar parks like those in Alcoutim are crucial to Galp’s transition strategy, generating green electrons that the company will provide to its customers and integrate into the production of low-carbon fuels,” it adds.

Meanwhile, minister of environment Duarte Cordeiro – who was recently ‘attacked’ with green-coloured eggs for taking part in an event sponsored by Galp – said at the inauguration that the project is “in line with the government’s priorities,” which include an “energy transition that favours sovereignty, independence and autonomy and which provides electricity at competitive prices and especially avoids greenhouse gas emissions.”

In other words, “our own cheap and sustainable transition.”

Galp also announced two major projects at the Sines refinery: the installation of 100 MW of electrolyzers for the production of green hydrogen and the launch of a unit for the production of advanced biofuels (HVO/SAF) for mobility and aviation. These two projects, valued at €650 million, are among “the largest in Europe in the green hydrogen and biofuels value chain and are fundamental components of the repositioning of the Sines refinery,” Galp said.

With the Alcoutim park, Galp takes another step in the execution of its strategy for sustainable growth in renewable electricity generation in Portugal. Alongside the decision announced this week to invest €650 million in decarbonising the Sines refinery, it demonstrates Galp’s commitment to positioning Portugal at the forefront of the new low-carbon economy,” said Paula Amorim, Chairwoman of Galp.

“This is a demonstration of our commitment to advancing the transformation of the energy system towards a sustainable paradigm,” added Georgios Papadimitriou. “The development of renewable energy is the foundation for the transformation we need to bring to all of society, from industry to transportation, mobility, and even the energy we consume in our homes”.

Local mayor Osvaldo Gonçalves also provided his two cents, describing the project as one that “fulfills structuring and strategic objectives at the local and national economic level, contributing to the fulfillment of the demanding decarbonisation goals of the country. It is also worth noting Galp’s willingness to intervene in Alcoutim in the social, tourism, and civil protection areas.

Galp adds that it has 11 solar parks in operation or under construction in Portugal and Spain. These assets, it says, will be responsible for the production of approximately 2.4 TWh of renewable energy in 2023.

By Michael Bruxo

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