July 8, 2019 / 4:19 PM / a year ago

Portugal's solar auction draws huge demand, winners to be named in Aug

LISBON, July 8 (Reuters) - Portugal’s huge auction of solar energy capacity drew a demand about nine times the offered 1,400 megawatts (MW), requiring a second phase to decide the winners of almost all licenses and the government expecting an investment of up to 1 billion euros.

“It was a success. The deadline was at midnight and we have 64 entities competing,” Environment and Energy Transition Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said on Monday, adding the investors had sought as much as over 10,000 MW of new capacity.

He said many investors were foreign. Out of 24 locations to install solar panels, only one found no bids, and one had an instant winner, while 22 licenses will require auctions where bidders offering the largest discount off the energy tariff will win, the minister said.

Winners should be announced around Aug. 10.

It is the largest licensing auction of any kind of energy launched in Portugal and represents more than double the current installed capacity of solar energy in the country. (Reporting by Sergio Goncalves Writing by Catarina Demony Editing by Andrei Khalip)

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