Portugal extends deadline for solar power auction on strong demand

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal has extended the deadline for a mega-auction of new solar energy capacity by a week to July 7 due to a strong interest by about 300 investors, Environment and Energy Transition Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said on Tuesday.

The auction, for 1,400 MW of solar energy, 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.

“The main reason for the extension of the deadline is that the competition (between interested bidders) is very big,” Matos Fernandes told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference.

“In fact we have about 300 interested (investors) on the (online bidding) platform and we want to be certain we get the best proposals.”

Portugal’s government is aiming to reach about 9,000 MW of installed solar energy capacity by 2027.

The minister said the large number of bidders implies lower electricity rates, benefitting consumers.

Reporting By Sergio Goncalves, writing by Axel Bugge, editing by Andrei Khalip