Portugal's Solar Energy Auction Postponed Due to Coronavirus

Source: Reuters 3/30/2020, Location: Europe

Portugal has postponed its second solar energy licensing auction due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but still hopes to launch it by June if the spread of the outbreak starts to slow, the environment ministry said on Monday.

Initially scheduled to kick off in April, the licensing auction for 700 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy capacity would help Portugal - one of Europe’s countries with most hours of sunshine per day - reach its ambition of having 7,000 MW of renewable energy by 2030.

“The qualification as well as bidding phases have been postponed, and should be carried out as soon as the situation calms down,” an environment ministry spokesman said. “We continue to predict that these two phases will take place during the first six months.”

Portugal’s first mega auction of 1,150 MW of solar energy capacity last June attracted mainly international players, such as Spanish Iberdrola, French Akuo Energy, British Aura Power and German Enerpac Projects. It set a record minimum price per Megawatt-hour of 14.6 euros, while the average auction price was 20 euros MWh, less than half the base price.

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