This news comes after renewable power production in Portugal in March exceeded demand for the first time ever. During last month, Portugal ran on renewable energy alone for almost three days.
In a statement sent to The Portugal News, Spanish renewable energies company Cox Energy confirmed it has signed “the world’s largest photovoltaic PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with Audax, one of the major electricity trading companies in the Iberian Peninsula, to supply electricity from its own solar farms.”
The long-term Power Purchase Agreement is the largest agreement of this type signed to date for the purchase of energy produced with photovoltaic solar technology, and is set to become the new benchmark in the global energy market.
In the statement, Cox Energy explained that the farms that underpin this agreement are located in Spain and Portugal, and have a total power of 660 MWp [Megawatt peaks], enough to supply about 1,300 GWh [Gigawatt hours] of energy per year.
The projects will begin construction throughout this year and will be operating progressively until 2020.
The total value of the investment will exceed 400 million euros, Cox Energy said.
“The agreement signed with Audax, one of the most important trading companies in the Iberian Peninsula, consolidates Cox Energy, which already sells electricity and gas in Spain, as one of the increasingly important players in the sector”, the company elaborated, stressing, “the long-term Power Purchase Agreement will mark a new milestone in the global renewable energy market and is set to become the new benchmark in the European energy market.”
Founded in 2007, the Audax Group, present in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Poland, Holland, France and Panama, mainly focuses its activities on the commercialisation of electricity and gas, as well as the generation of 100 percent renewable electricity.
In comments to The Portugal News, Audax elaborated on the Iberian solar parks, saying “in total, the plants will produce 495MW in Spain and 165MW in Portugal.
“Their location is currently confidential”, said Gerard Martinez, Audax Energia’s Portugal Branch Director.
This major deal will produce more than 1,300 GWh/year of photovoltaic solar energy, equivalent to the consumption needs of around 400,000 homes.
It positions Spain and Portugal as the European countries with the largest volume of renewable energy sold through this type of agreement, and comes at a time when Portugal is setting records in the field of green energy. Last month the production of renewable electricity in March exceeded consumption in mainland Portugal for the first time ever.
The Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies and environmental association Zero both considered the feat a “historical milestone”.
Data from Portugal’s national grid company REN showed that the renewable electricity produced in March was 4,812 Gigawatt Hours (GWh), exceeding the consumption of mainland Portugal, which was 4,647 GWh.
“These figures, in addition to being a historical milestone in the Portuguese electricity sector, demonstrate the technical feasibility, safety and reliability of the national electricity system, with a lot of renewable electricity”, the two associations said in a joint statement released on Tuesday.
In March, the share of renewables was 103.6 percent of electricity consumption, which is “unheard of in the last 40 years”, according to the statement.
The previous maximum recorded had occurred in February 2014 with renewable production of 99.2 percent of demand.
Furthermore, last month, from Friday 9 March to Monday 12 March, Portugal ran exclusively on renewable energy, for 69 consecutive hours, almost three days.
According to grid operator REN, most of the energy was generated from wind turbines, setting another renewable energy record.
Green energy currently supplies just over half of Portugal’s annual electricity needs, saving the country around €750 million in fossil fuel imports.
Zero and the Portuguese Association of Renewable Energies said last month’s record is “an example of what will happen more often in the near future”, adding “it is expected that by 2040 the production of renewable electricity will be able to guarantee, in a cost-effective way, all the annual consumption of electricity of mainland Portugal.”