The ceremony, which took place in one of the four solar plant areas that are part of the project in Alcoutim, was attended by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, the Mayor of Alcoutim, Osvaldo Gonçalves, Galp's CEO, Filipe Silva, and Galp's Executive Vice President for Renewables, Georgios Papadimitriou.
According to Galp officials, the photovoltaic solar energy park can supply 80,000 homes, avoiding the emission of 75,000 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide). Also, Galp said that with these solar plants, the company currently has an installed capacity of 1.4 GW (gigawatts), ensuring 5.5 percent of the Iberian Peninsula's photovoltaic power.
Public authorities praise the project
According to the mayor, this investment project is important for Alcountim because it will enable the creation of "some jobs that are fundamental to the strategy of retaining young people and others in our municipality, and will increase the creation of wealth in our municipality".
"These investments have one main effect: the decarbonisation of a sector that is responsible for a large part of our emissions and contributes to territorial cohesion and creates qualified jobs in our country, retaining value in Portugal," the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro said.
In addition, according to the minister, these projects make it possible to reduce our country's external dependence on third parties and take advantage of our endogenous resources, avoiding crises like the one we experienced last year.
During the ceremony, which ended with a driving tour to the solar panels, Filipe Silva, CEO of Galp, said that: "Alcoutim's solar panels will decarbonise Sines", adding that the Algarve municipality's sun "will end up in the tanks" of the Portuguese.
"We're going to bring the Alcoutim sun into your car's tank," said Filipe Silva, who assured us that there are projects in the pipeline to use the electrons produced in Alcoutim to produce green hydrogen in Sines, which will be used to fuel our cars.
In this regard, Galp took the opportunity to announce that it will be building "a green hydrogen unit with a capacity of 100 MW of electrolysis that will produce up to 15,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year", which will make it possible to replace "around 20 percent of the current consumption of grey hydrogen and could represent a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 110,000 tonnes per year (Scope 1 and 2, CO2e)".
According to the data provided, Galp has eleven solar parks in operation or under construction in Portugal and Spain. These assets will be responsible for producing around 2.4 TWh (terawatt hours) of renewable energy by 2023.
The Alcoutim plant, with an estimated annual production capacity of 250,000-megawatt hours of electricity, is made up of four photovoltaic plants - S. Marcos, Viçosa, Pereiro and Albercas - and has 252,532 solar panels covering an area of 250 hectares.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252