‘This solar farm sets a new benchmark in combining Europe’s clean energy ambitions’
When it comes on stream in 2025, the Fernando Pessoa plant, named after the Portuguese poet, will be able to supply enough clean, low-cost, locally generated green energy to cover the annual needs of some 430,000 households, a population equivalent to nearly twice the size of the city of Porto.
The grid connection has already been contracted with Portuguese operator REN and the facility will avoid the consumption of 370 million cubic metres of gas each year. The project will have Prosolia Energy as Partner.
Land for the project has already been secured and its construction will create up to 2,500 jobs, mostly local. The plant will be an example of the coexistence of new renewable developments with environmental heritage and local communities. The project’s action plan includes measures such as occupational skills training, fostering tourism, and providing solar energy to nearby communities.
In terms of biodiversity and environmental protection, the land will be used by local shepherds to graze sheep in the area and beehives will be introduced, which will help to improve ecosystem stability and boost crop yields in the surrounding farmland. In addition, planting will be carried out in the area surrounding the facility to restore indigenous tree species.
Iberdrola Executive Chairman, Ignacio Galán, said: “This solar farm sets a new benchmark in combining Europe’s clean energy ambitions with the delivery of tangible environmental and social benefits. We need to reduce our exposure to fossil fuels.
“We are proud to continue and strengthen our commitment to Portugal with new clean infrastructure across the country, as we did with the Tâmega gigabattery. The collaboration of the Portuguese authorities has also been essential in getting this project to this stage in record time.”
“Fernando Pessoa will be a groundbreaking solar farm, on a scale that Europe has never seen before. A project of this scale and ambition was unimaginable only a few years ago, but Iberdrola has the technical expertise and the financial strength to make it a reality. We look forward to maintaining our central role in Portugal’s ambitious clean energy future,” said Alejandra Reyna, Country Manager of Iberdrola Renovables Portugal.