Dubbed Mogadoro, the 49MW plant in northeast Portugal is expected to produce up to 80m KW per year
Edisun Power Group’s newest photovoltaic plant, Mogaduoro, officially connected to Portugal’s main electricity grid recently. With a capacity of 49MW, Mogaduoro is Edisun Power Group’s largest solar plant. Situated near the Duoro River in Northeast Portugal, the plant is spread across 65 hectares and will produce up to 80m KWh of electricity every year. The output is expected to fulfil the energy requirements of up to 20,000 homes.
In addition to being its largest so far, Mogaduoro is also Edisun Power Group’s first ‘merchant’ plant. It essentially means that Mogaduoro was constructed without any government subsidies or warranties. In addition to this, a Portuguese electricity trader has entered into a PPA with Edisun Power Group. The electricity trader has committed to fixed-price purchases during Mogaduoro’s initial years to guarantee income generated by the plant.
Mogaduoro’s construction during the Covid-19 pandemic revealed benefits of operating and maintaining photovoltaic systems which would have otherwise remained unnoticed. The pandemic forced electricity prices to plummet as consumption dropped globally.
The steep price-drop impacted Edisun Power Group’s accounts. However, since photovoltaic systems are monitored remotely and require little maintenance or repair, solar plants can produce electricity without being affected by external influences. Edisun Power has identified the Iberian Peninsula as a region with high potential for solar energy. It has already begun development of four Portuguese projects in the area, with a combined capacity of 150MW.
Like most major renewable projects, Mogaduoro has also been a collaborative effort. Edisun Power Group acquired the rights to the project from Smartenergy Invest AG in early 2019. The plant’s construction was done by Efacec, a Portuguese electrical engineering group that operates internationally. The plant’s construction faced significant hurdles even before the pandemic began. Protracted funding negotiations and agreements with almost 100 landowners led to major delays. Later, Portugal’s strict Covid-19 regulations posed major challenges for Mogaduoro’s construction timeline. However, the plant achieved its construction and operation targets, ushering in the Portuguese new year with promises of a sunny future.