Portugal Postpones First Offshore Wind Auction, Doubles Capacity Target

Portugal plans to hold its first offshore wind auction in 2023 with the aim of awarding between 6 GW and 8 GW of capacity, according to João Galamba, the country’s Secretary of State for Energy.

As previously reported, Portugal had initially planned to hold its first auction this summer and award between 3 GW and 4 GW of capacity.

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The auction has now been postponed because the tendering procedure for offshore wind is “more complex than the others, which is not launched in just three months, because it involves industrialization of ports”, Secretary Galamba was reported as saying during the Hannover Messe in Germany.

He also added that ”all the large offshore wind companies are looking closely at Portugal”, and that the government has already had talks with the developers such as Ørsted, Iberdrola, OW Ocean Winds, a Portuguese-French consortium of EDP Renewables and Engie, and a number of German companies.

”The fact that Portugal has electricity grid infrastructure along the coast, which will be reinforced in the coming years, allows for the extensive use of this technology in the future,” Secretary Galamba said in a speech.

Back in 2017, the Portuguese Government approved the Industrial Strategy for Ocean Renewable Energies (EI-ERO), with an aim of developing the country’s offshore wind potential, according to which the potential for offshore wind installation in Portugal is much more significant for floating turbines (40 GW), than for fixed ones (1.4 to 3.5 GW).

According to estimations from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the Ocean Renewable Energy Action Coalition (OREAC), and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Portugal’s offshore wind technical potential is 131 GW: 117 GW for floating wind and 14 GW for bottom-fixed.

Portugal already has a floating wind farm up and running, the 25 MW Windfloat Atlantic, which has been operational since July 2020. The project features three MHI Vestas 8.4 MW turbines mounted on Principle Power’s semi-submersible floating foundations.

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Photo: Illustration; WindFloat Atlantic floating wind farm offshore Portugal. Source: Principle Power