Solar pannels

Germany’s Aquila starts on Coimbra solar plant to power 21,000 homes

Aims to start construction of five further plants in Portugal “later this year”

Germany-based multinational Aquila Clean Energy starts construction of a photovoltaic power plant in Coimbra today with a capacity to generate annually more than 71 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy, “enough to supply some 21,000 homes”, says Lusa.

The Solar Photovoltaic Plant of Barcos, located in the parish of Cernache, is to be built by Aquila Capital’s renewable energy platform in Europe, which develops and operates renewable energy projects in the area of solar and wind power.

The plant, scheduled to start operating in 2024, “will increase the green energy generation capacity in the municipality of Coimbra and will avoid the emission of a total of 57,000 tons of CO2 every year, thanks to a production of 71 GWh of renewable energy per year,” the company said in a statement.

“Our ambition is to play a key role in Portugal’s energy transition and accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy in a sustainable way,” says the statement quoting Manuel Fonseca e Silva, Aquila Clean Energy’s head of development and construction in Portugal: “This project is a new step in creating this positive environmental and social impact that we want to have in the regions where we operate.”

According to Fonseca e Silva, the company’s mission at Barcos “is composed of the preservation of biodiversity and local heritage, characteristics that distinguish the operation and naturally by the creation of green jobs that this new solar plant will drive.

“This project will also have a component of preservation of local heritage, through the conservation of existing shepherds’ shelters in the area of implementation of the plant, and intensive monitoring of existing biodiversity will be guaranteed, seeking in this way to reduce the impact of the structure.” 

Aquila Clean Energy currently manages a portfolio in Portugal with a total capacity of around 900 megawatts (MW), in photovoltaic solar energy projects, “both in the development phase and already in operation”.

The company develops, builds and operates solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants and is also involved in energy storage equipment.

Later this year, it plans to start construction of five more solar plants in Portugal, with a combined capacity of 330 MW.