Lightsource BP in $1B+ Portugal Solar Investment

Lightsource BP in $1B+ Portugal Solar Investment
Lightsource BP has announced a $1.09 billion solar investment in Portugal, which will be deployed over six years.

Lightsource BP has announced a $1.09 billion (EUR 900 million) solar investment in Portugal, which will be deployed over six years.

The company has entered into a co-development partnership with INSUN for five utility scale solar projects. The projects - which aim to add over 1.35 gigawatts (GW) of low carbon, renewable power to Portugal’s energy mix - are said to be in the early development stage and will be located in the regions of Moura, Castelo Branco, Mogadouro, Chamusca, and Viseu. More than 3,000 green jobs could be created in the regions, according to Lightsource BP, which highlighted that the projects will be in place for around 30 years once operational.

“I am delighted that Lightsource BP will be developing clean and affordable solar energy for Portugal, supporting the national ambition to reach our 2030 renewable energy target,” Pedro Oliveira, the head of country for BP Portugal, said in a company statement. “BP is committed to continue to support the transition to a lower carbon world, and to reach net zero by 2050 or sooner,” he added.

Miguel Lobo, Portugal’s country head for Lightsource BP, said, “solar is ideally placed to meet Portugal’s rapid expansion plans on growing its local renewable energy generation capacity as it has excellent irradiation levels, it is quick to deploy, and low-cost”.

“If Portugal is efficient by adding new solar generation quickly, it will accelerate decarbonization and it will contribute to reduce electricity prices. There really is so much potential for solar within the energy mix,” he added. “In addition, there are also opportunities with growing technologies like storage and green hydrogen that are attracting new investment players across the energy value chain, and that is a huge benefit to our country,” Lobo went on to say.

Henrique Rodrigues, INSUN’s chief executive officer, said, “attracting a partner of Lightsource BP’s experience and track record is an endorsement of the quality of these five projects”.

“Solar has a huge role to play in Portugal’s energy transition. The scale of this deal should demonstrate just how big that opportunity truly is. As a local company it will be hugely rewarding to collaborate with an international solar major and bring 1.35GW of clean energy online in Portugal,” Rodrigues went on to say.

Lightsource BP, which is a 50:50 joint venture between BP and the solar energy project specialist, has developed over 3GW of utility scale solar to date, according to its website. The company announced its move into the Iberian energy market in late 2018, initially setting up in Madrid, and in 2019 opened its office in Lisbon.

Portugal is aiming for a 47 percent share of renewables in its final energy use by 2030 across all sectors, BP highlights on its website. The company has been active in Portugal for 92 years.

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