August 3 (Solar) – WElink Energy and China Triumph International Engineering Co (CTIEC) have cut the ribbon on their 46-MW subsidy-free Ourika solar park in southern Portugal.
The plant, situated in Ourique municipality uses 142,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels, installed on an area of 100 ha (247 acres), WElink said on Thursday. The renewable energy company and its Chinese partner spent around EUR 40 million (USD 46.4m) for the project without using government subsidies or support mechanisms. According to WElink, it is the first zero-subsidy solar project in the Iberian Peninsula and the largest one in Europe to operate without public subsidies.
The PV park will be capable of generating enough electricity for about 23,000 households. It is connected to the National Electricity Transmission Grid of Portugal.
“The opening of the Ourika plant sends a clear message that PV solar is now a mature technology pushing into the post-subsidy era,” said Barry O’Neill, WElink Group’s CEO. He added that WElink is keen to invest in Portugal due to the “leadership demonstrated by the Portuguese government in delivering its ambitious low-carbon targets.”
Following the completion of Ourika, WElink will focus on a 221-MW project it is developing in Alcoutim, southeastern Portugal, expecting to commission it in the third quarter of 2019. The company’s development target for Iberia is to have 1 GW of solar by 2020.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.159)