Construction of a 219 MW PV project in Vaquieros, Portugal, has been completed, with the project expected to begin delivering energy to the regional grid before the end of this month.
Referred to as the Solara4 project during its development and construction, the power plant was renamed the Riccardo Totta Photovoltaic Plant at an inauguration ceremony held last week, attended by stakeholders from across the project, as well as Portuguese minister of environment and climate action João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Secretary of State for Energy João Galamba and local Mayor Paulo Paulino. The plant takes its name from an Italian engineer and father of Maurizio Totta, the project’s landowner.
At 219 MW, Riccardo Totta PV plant is the largest solar power plant in Portugal, and among the largest unsubsidized projects built so far in Europe. Developers WElink and China Triumph International Engineering Co. Ltd. (CTIEC) have signed a long-term PPA with Spanish company Audax for energy produced at the site. Paulino also noted that the project is the largest investment ever made in the municipality of Alcoutim, and WElink stated that it came in under budget, costing €170 million against a scheduled investment of €200 million.
Chinese manufacturer Jetion supplied the PV modules for the project, and China National Building Materials acted as engineering, procurement, and construction contractor. Originally expected to be completed in September 2019, the project was hit with multiple delays including a Covid-19 outbreak among construction workers at the site. WElink and CTIEC have previously collaborated on several projects in Spain and Portugal, including on the 46 MW Ourika Project completed in 2018, which Paz reports is performing beyond expectations.