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Iberdrola obtains FID for Portuguese wind farm

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Energy Global,

Iberdrola has obtained environmental approval from the Portuguese government to build the largest wind farm in the country.

The new wind farm will have a capacity of 274 MW, equivalent to support the annual consumption of 128 000 homes, and will be built in the municipalities of Vila Real and Braga.

It will create the largest ‘hybrid’ clean energy scheme in the country. The wind farm will utilise the same grid connection as the Tâmega pumped-storage hydro complex, ensuring that more green megawatts can be produced for home and businesses in Portugal, by maximising the capacity of the connection point.

Specifically, the company has obtained the second and final favourable environmental permit for the Tâmega Eólico project. This is the so-called DCAPE ('decisão da conformidade ambiental do projeto de execução' – decision of environmental conformity of the execution project).

This step involves the approval by the Portuguese Environment entity, APA (agência Portuguesa do Ambiente) of the construction of the project, complying with all the conditions and measures included in the favourable Environmental Impact Statement that Iberdrola received in March 2023.

In this way, the energy company continues with the processing of the installation. The next step will be to apply for the production license to the Portuguese Directorate General of Energy and Geology. Iberdrola's goal is to obtain all the permits and start work in early 2025.

The incorporation of wind energy into the Tâmega hydroelectric complex increases the contribution of clean, cheap, and competitive energy to the electricity system of these facilities and ensures that they supply the maximum amount of green energy originally authorised for each project, for as long as possible.

The two technologies will complement each other, to maximise output and production, optimising the electric infrastructure.

Hybrid generation plants use the same connection point to the grid and share infrastructure, such as the substation. An extension will be built to the substation, which was already designed for the initial project.

In addition, both projects are located on land that was already designated for renewable generation and allows for common roads and facilities for the operation of both technologies. This reduces environmental impacts in project development.

Coexistence with the environment

Iberdrola will implement a range of measures to support ecosystems in the wind farm location. In addition, given the proximity of both projects, some of the measures already successfully implemented in the Tâmega pumped-storage hydro scheme will be continued, such as the planting of native species, and forest management.

Measures to support fauna will also continue, such as grass plantations, plantations of species with fleshy fruits, execution and recovery of ponds or installation of nest boxes for bats.

In addition to the biological and archaeological support during construction, a series of Ecological Systems Monitoring Programs (avifauna, bats, wolves, flora and habitats) will be implemented.

Tâmega hydroelectric project

The Tâmega hydropower project is one of the largest hydroelectric projects completed in Europe in the last 25 years. It is made up of three plants: the Alto Tâmega Hydroelectric Power Plant, with an installed capacity of 160 MW, the Gouvães Pumped Storage Plant (880 MW) and the Daivões Power Plant (118 MW), the latter two in operation since 2022.

The three plants have an installed capacity of 1158 MW, which will represent an increase of 6% in the total installed electricity power in the country. The complex is able to produce 1,766 GWh per year, enough to meet the energy needs of neighbouring municipalities and the cities of Braga and Guimarães (440 000 homes). In addition, Tâmega has a storage capacity of 40 million kWh, equivalent to the energy consumed by 11 million people during 24 hours in their homes.

Tâmega will displace the emission of 1.2 million tpy carbon dioxide and will diversify production sources, avoiding the import of more than 160 thousand tons of oil per year. In addition, it supports economic activity and employment in the region. Up to 3500 direct jobs and 10 000 indirect jobs during construction – 20% from neighbouring municipalities – and more than 100 suppliers, 75 of them Portuguese.



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