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Solar energy for all

By ELOÏSE WALTON [email protected]

Portugal’s national electricity board, EDP, is now promoting a mini-grid solar panel system which allows land owners to generate their own electricity while selling excess units back to the company.

Barry Young, Corporate Manager of solar panel installation company Euro Solar NRG, told the Algarve Resident: “We have just had one of the very first mini-grid connections in the Algarve turned on in Torre, Alcantarilha.

“I am confident that these systems are an extremely good investment. In this current climate, these Photovoltaic Systems are a good way of protecting ourselves against the unstable fluctuations and inflation of the cost of our utilities.”

To install this system, property owners must have a contract with the EDP and a water heating system.

An application for the solar energy system has to be made through a certified installer or their agent, which once accepted allows 120 days for installation and an inspection to be requested.

Following this, an exploration certificate is issued to the property owner, allowing them to sell the energy back to the EDP.

Micro system

The current contracts available are consumer/producer and producer. The former allows property owners to use 50 per cent of the energy produced, while the producer contract means that 100 per cent of the energy is sold to EDP.

The company cannot refuse to buy the energy from this system and for the first five years it is bought above the usual price of 10 cents per kWh, at a fixed feed-in rate of 65 cents per kWh.

Regional water company Águas do Algarve has also installed a micro production system comprising of 47 solar panels, representing an investment of more than 890,000 euros.

These are expected to produce around 271 MWh of energy per year while reducing CO2 emissions by 128 tonnes.

For more information about the mini-grid system, please visit the EDP website, available in English, by clicking the link on the right of this page or go to your nearest EDP office. To contact Euro Solar NRG, please call (00351) 917 002 053 or email [email protected]

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