BNZ invests €450M in solar parques
Independent energy producer BNZ that develops, builds, and operates solar photovoltaic projects in Southern Europe, particularly Portugal and Spain, is to invest €450 million in Portugal with nine solar power parks.
According to the Managing Director of BNZ, Luís Selva, in an interview with Negócios, the company is also looking out for opportunities in hybrid renewable energy and battery projects.
The first two projects from the independent energy producer — one of 49 MWp at Ave, near Braga, and the other, a 17 MWp in the Porto district, are already agreed and construction work is likely to begin before the end of the year.
BNZ is owned by the British Investment Fund Glenmont Partners which is based in Barcelona. BNZ plans to build a total of nine solar parks with a total energy capacity of 600 megawatts (MWp). The two current projects are expected to be producing energy from 2025.
In the three markets in which it operates – Portugal, Spain and Brazil – BNZ has a portfolio of 1700 MW under development.
“If we manage to build the nine projects that we have planned for Portugal, we are talking of a total investment of €450 million. This is our plan for the next three to four years, with the view to developing our portfolio in the country”, said Luís Selva, Managing Director of BNZ, adding that in a year from now the plan could be changed.
“Meanwhile, the company has revised upwards its previous targets from 400 MWp to 600 MWp with six solar projects to be built by 2024 with an initial investment of around half. (€220 million)
According to a communiqué about the first phases of the project, the BNZ solar PV plant in the Ave inter-municipal community will have an installed capacity of 49MWp. BNZ expects the plant to be operational in 2023.
“This will be BNZ’s first plant to be built in Portugal, a country in which it expects to install an approximate capacity in excess of 400MWp by 2024. The aggregated fully permitted capacity of BNZ across all geographies stands at 147MWp.
“The electricity production of this project would be able to supply the annual electricity needs of around 14,000 people, the equivalent of one-third of Evora’s population. The clean energy produced at this plant will avoid 21,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year, which is about 37,000 Lisbon – London roundtrip flights”.
In addition, BNZ estimates that it will create between 270 and 370 direct and indirect jobs by 2024.
“The production of reliable and affordable photovoltaic solar energy located in our country will avoid the importation of fossil fuels such as natural gas from third countries. This will result in greater energy independence and security of supply, in addition to improving environmental sustainability. For example, the energy produced by this BNZ project will save the use of 14 million m3 per year of natural gas that were to be consumed by combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants to generate the same amount of energy”, states the communiqué.