An auction for 700MW of grid energy capacity in Portugal is being configured to allow bids from solar and also solar-plus-storage projects to participate on a competitive basis, with guaranteed payments for energy storage co-located projects to use a capping mechanism in the event of ‘price spikes’.
The Portuguese government directorate general of energy and geology last week issued its competitive procedure guidelines for a tender that is to be conducted electronically online and in a process that it said will be “competitive, simple, open, transparent and swift”. The inclusion of energy storage options was reported in January by sister site PV Tech. A previous auction for 1.15GW of solar in 2019 set record-breaking low prices of €14.76/MWh (US$16.44/MWh).
While the government issued various guidance documents for the process, PV Tech reported on Friday that the auction is now to be postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Energy state secretary João Galamba told PV Tech’s Jose Rojo Martin that it will be “paused”.
“I don’t know if it will be a month or two months. The only thing I can say clearly is we are ready to go, we are just pausing for the general situation to calm down a bit. As soon as we sense the market is ready to participate in a full-fledged auction we will launch it,” Galamba said.
“We want the auction to be as successful as the one last year so we will wait a little bit. It doesn’t make sense to launch it in the middle of this mess, especially since we are introducing the storage modality, which adds complexity”.
The auction is in line with the government’s Integrated National Energy Climate Plan (PNEC), which is Portugal’s “main instrument of energy and climate policy for the 2021-2030 decade,” according to the national energy ministry and meeting requirements determined by the country’s EU member state obligations. With placing an emphasis on the competitiveness of renewable energy up to 2030 as an interim goal, Portugal is targeting carbon neutrality by 2050.