ACCIONA puts into service the world’s biggest photovoltaic power plant in Portugal


Source: ACCIONA Energy

ACCIONA Energy has put into service its photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Amareleja (Moura, Portugal). The Company has invested around 261 million euro (US 367 million) in the 46 MWp plant, the largest of its kind in the world. Amareleja is capable of producing 93 million KW/h a year equivalent to the electrical consumption of over 30 million Portuguese households and will avoid the 89,383 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year that would have otherwise been produced by the coal-fired power stations required to produce the same amount of power. The plant was constructed in the record time of just thirteen months.

ACCIONA is an international reference in renewable energies and this new project further strengthens the company's position as a world leader in solar energy and enhances its outstanding track record in Spain, where ACCIONA already has an installed capacity of 68 MW of PV, with a further 100 MW of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) currently under construction; and in the USA, where ACCIONA owns the largest CSP plant built in the world in the last seventeen years (64 MW).

A total area of 250 hectares

The Amareleja PV plant is 100 percent owned by ACCIONA. In January 2007, the company acquired the total capital of Amper Solar (the company that owned the rights of the installation) from the latter's shareholders ―Moura Town Council (88%), Comoiprel (2%) and the firm of consultants Renatura Networks.Com (10%).

The plant covers a total area of 250 hectares, located in the parish of Amareleja in the municipality of Moura, in Portugal's Alentejo region, not far from the border with Spain. It has 2,520 Buskil trackers (ACCIONA in-house technology), each with a surface of 142 m2, 13 meters long and 10.87 meters high. Each tracker has 104 polycrystalline silicon modules with a capacity of 170 and 180 Wp, and the trackers support a total 262,080 PV modules. The trackers follow the sun with an azimuthal rotation movement of 240 degrees, and a fixed inclination of 45 degrees.

The first 3 MW were installed at the end of 2007, and were connected provisionally in March 2008. This year has seen the installation of the remainder of the plant's solar field and the construction of the evacuation line, and last week the plant was finally connected to the grid.

Built by ACCIONA Solar

The Amareleja power plant was built by ACCIONA Solar, a subsidiary of ACCIONA Energy. An average 150 workers worked on the plant's construction, with a peak of almost 500 workers at certain moments.

ACCIONA Solar is a leading player in solar power installations and has installed 68 MWp in Spain, a substantial part of which are the so-called huertas solares ('solar gardens'), a concept created and patented by the company. Over 3,500 owners have so far invested a total 456 million euro in this kind of installation.

Helping to meet energy objectives

The Amareleja PV plant will help to achieve the objectives laid out in the Portuguese government's E4 Energy Efficiency and Endogenous Energies policy and to meet Portugal's greenhouse gases reduction commitments. In the case of PV power, the aim is to install 150 MWp, of which Amareleja will account for 30%.

The plant is expected to create wealth and employment in the region and is certain to become a reference for solar energy development.

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