Lightsource bp announces investment in Portugal solar projects

UK-based solar energy company Lightsource BP has announced a €900m ($1.09bn) investment in Indonesian solar company Insun.

The investment will fund the development of five utility-scale solar projects in Portugal.

The early development stage solar projects are located in Portugal’s Moura, Castelo Branco, Mogadouro, Chamusca and Viseu regions.

With a combined capacity of 1.35GW, the five projects will add renewable power to Portugal’s energy mix.

Insun CEO Henrique Rodrigues said: “Attracting a partner of Lightsource BP’s experience and track record is an endorsement of the quality of these five projects. Solar [power] has a huge role to play in Portugal’s energy transition.”

This investment, to be made over a six-year period, will create more than 3,000 green jobs in the five regions.

The investment will also include the procurement of local services, infrastructure improvements, biodiversity enhancements and community initiatives.

The five solar projects, due to be operational for around 30 years, are expected to create additional economic opportunities separate from renewable power generation.

Portugal is targeting a 47% share of renewables in its energy use by 2030 across all sectors.

In late 2018, Lightsource BP entered the Iberian energy market by opening an office in Madrid. In 2019, the company opened an office in Lisbon.

Lightsource bp currently has a solar development pipeline of more than 2GW in Spain and Portugal. With this investment, this capacity is expected to exceed 3.5GW.

The company is also seeking opportunities for green hydrogen.

Lightsource BP Portugal country head Miguel Lobo said: “Solar [power] is ideally placed to meet Portugal’s rapid expansion plans on growing its local renewable energy generation capacity, as it has excellent irradiation levels, is quick to deploy and is low-cost.

“We will be developing these projects in partnership with local municipalities and communities. There are lots of additional economic opportunities to explore in addition to the renewable energy generation, and local feedback will help shape our projects to local priorities.”

Last March, Lightsource BP secured a $250m financing package for its 260MW Impact solar project in the US.

Located in Texas’s Lamar County, the clean energy generated by the solar project will be traded under a long-term agreement with BP.