According to the regional secretary of Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure, Berta Cabral, who also oversees the Energy area, the region has made “a good journey and a good path in the energy transition”.

“Investments of around 131.9 million euros in renewable energy are planned by 2027”, using funds from the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR) and operational programs, said Berta Cabral in the Azorean parliament, in Horta, .

The government official specified that the investments include the islands of Santa Maria (4.8 million euros), São Miguel (63.6 ME), Terceira (22.7 ME) São Jorge (8.4 ME), Pico (11, 3 ME), Faial (5.8 ME), Flores (11 ME) and Corvo (4.3 ME), he specified.

Graciosa Island already has the Graciolica project, a hybrid energy system that integrates a wind farm, a photovoltaic plant and a battery plant.

In her intervention, Berta Cabral indicated that the projects planned for the eight islands are related to photovoltaic and wind energy and are carried out through the electrical company EDA Renováveis.

During the parliamentary debate, criticism was heard from some benches regarding delays in applications for the Solenerge program, which includes the granting of financial incentives for the acquisition of solar photovoltaic systems to be installed in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, within the scope of the PRR.

Deputy Nuno Barata (IL) was the first to speak on the subject when he mentioned that the problem with the program is “being poorly executed”.

According to the parliamentarian, Solenerge has a delay in payments that is unacceptable, noting that, at the end of September, the execution rate was 6.4%.

He also highlighted that the program is experiencing a delay in the installation of bidirectional meters and warned: “This is done on purpose by a public company that has a monopoly on the production and distribution of electricity in the Autonomous Region of the Azores”.

In his opinion, the solution would be to divide EDA [Eletricidade dos Açores] into two: “distribution to one side and production to the other”.

The regional secretary of Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure considered that Solenerge is “an extraordinary program”, but warned that its financial ceiling is running out.

“We already have, at this moment, an approved power of 7.7 [MW of 12.6, which is the maximum], an approved investment volume of 9.7 [of 19 ME] (…) and we have applications which are already exceeding 19 ME”, he informed.

The approved applications have not yet been paid for because each piece of equipment is only paid for after it is installed: “[The amount of] two million [euros] has been paid (…). 9.7 are approved. When the justifications appear, [the equipment] will be paid for.”

“We are already at the limit of applications, but as we know that there are many that are rejected and that are not approved in their entirety, we have not yet stopped receiving applications, but we have already warned that they enter and are analyzed on a first-come, first-served basis”, he said, ensuring that the Solenerge program “has been a success”.

At the end of the debate, the government official returned to the subject, having indicated that, at present, “61% of the installed power and 51% of the planned investment” have been approved.

“Therefore, it is clear that the milestones and goals have been met. On the Government side, 61% of the power and 51% of the investment are approved. Because the installation is on the promoter’s side, it is not on the Government’s side,” he concluded.