Portuguese energy company Galp Energia announced on March 26 that it has awarded the construction contract for its first large-scale PV project in the home country to a consortium formed by Jayme da Costa and Visabeira. Jayme da Costa specializes in building power plants and has been heavily involved in the renewable energy industry. Visabeira is a conglomerate with interests across several industries. Like Galp Energia, both entities are based in Portugal.
This project comprises four separate PV power plants located in Alcoutim, a municipality located in the southeastern part of the country and next to the border with Spain. Together, the four power plants will occupy an area of 250ha and have a generation capacity of 144MW.
Through a press release, Galp Energia stated that the construction of the Alcoutim project is scheduled to begin this April. The project is expected to start supplying power as early as the first quarter of 2021. Collectively, the four PV power plants will produce a maximum of 250,000MWh annually. This amount is enough to meet the energy demand of more than 80,000 households. Furthermore, the project will offset about 75,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. As for the division of labor, Jayme da Costa will be responsible for “all the electrical, mechanical and civil works” of the four power plants, excluding the provisioning of PV modules. Visabeira will be handling “all civil construction works”.
Galp Energia had been primarily involved in the oil and gas sector up to the year 2020, when it formally ventured into the solar sector by buying PV generation assets from Spanish construction firm ACS. Reuters reported that even though Galp Energia is building a portfolio of renewable energy projects, the company will continue to increase its oil and gas production for at least another decade.
When breaking the news about the awarding of the Alcoutim project, Galp Energia reiterated its commitment to allocate at least 40% of its annual capital expenditure to investments related to energy transition. More specifically, 15-20% of its annual capital expenditure is set aside for developing renewable energy projects and new businesses. As of now, Galp Energia has 900MW of PV generation assets in operation. The company became a major participant in the Iberian solar market with last year’s acquisition.