Archive for December 2008

A mega solar power plant in Portugal is connected to the grid

December 31, 2008

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, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Amareleja is capable of producing 93 million KW/h a year. The plant was constructed in the record time of just thirteen months.

Acciona already has an installed capacity of 68 MW of PV in Spain, with a further 100 MW of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) currently under construction. In the USA, Acciona owns the largest CSP plant built in the world in the last seventeen years (Nevada Solar One, 64 MW).

The plant covers a total area of 617.8 acres , 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), that support a total of 262,080 PV modules. The trackers can follow the sun throughout the day, boosting the output of the solar modules over the output of a stationary system.

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.

At the same time, the municipality of Moura has launched the Sunflower project, which involves a network of eight municipalities from eight different countries in Europe (Bulgaria, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) that seek to transform their towns into what the EU calls “Zero Carbon Communities” under its Intelligent Energy – Europe (IEE) programme for the promotion of alternative energy sources.