Spanish developer proposes three floating wind farms in Portugal
Capital Energy, a renewable energy project developer based in Spain, has submitted applications for environmental assessments for three floating offshore wind farms in Portugal with a total capacity of 2 GW.
Named Parque Eólico Offshore Barlavento, Parque Eólico Offshore Carvela and Parque Eólico Offshore Âncora, the first two are proposed to have 40 wind turbines and an installed capacity of 600 MW each, while the Âncora floating wind farm would have a capacity of 765 MW and 51 wind turbines.
All three floating wind projects are planned to use wind turbines with a nominal capacity of 15 MW per unit.
The Barlavento wind farm would be located near Figueira da Foz, approximately 51 kilometres from Mira and some 43 kilometres from Quiaios. The Caravela floating wind site that Capital Energy is proposing is located around 13 kilometres from Vila Praia de Âncora (Caminha) and 14 kilometres from Viana do Castelo. The site where the Âncora project is planned to be built is around 36 kilometres offshore Matosinhos and 40 kilometres from Gulpilhares.
Reuters reported on 25 September that the Spanish developer requested a preliminary environmental analysis for the three wind farms, citing the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA).
On 26 September, APA issued a notice on launching public consultation related to the three projects. The Agency is consulting on the proposed scope definition for the environmental impact assessments (EIAs).
According to the application documents, Capital Energy is also looking at using (a portion of) the electricity the wind farms would be generating for the production of green hydrogen.
“Not being the subject of this [Scope Definition Proposal], it is relevant to mention Capital Energy’s intention to develop another project in the future aimed at producing green hydrogen (H2). This project will result from a recently concluded alliance between Capital Energy and a recognized promoter of offshore green H2, and is clearly aligned with national objectives within the scope of the National Hydrogen Strategy (EN-H2)”, the company states in the Scope Definition Proposal document.
In June this year, Capital Energy announced the company signed a collaboration agreement with the French offshore hydrogen developer Lhyfe, under which the two companies agreed to work together to create hydrogen production sites at some of the offshore wind farm sites currently being developed by Capital Energy in Spain and Portugal. The Spanish energy company said it already had a development pipeline of more than 7.5 GW in both countries.
Last year, Capital Energy also signed an agreement with Shell to analyse the joint development of projects in the offshore wind energy sector in Spain and Portugal.
Detailing on the collaboration with Shell in May 2022, Capital Energy said the two companies would explore opportunities in line with their interest in these countries, especially in the field of floating offshore wind power.
Capital Energy is also developing a project together with BlueFloat Energy, which involves a 50 MW fixed-bottom offshore wind farm next to the Port of Granadilla in Tenerife. The Granadilla offshore wind farm will supply most of the clean energy to the port and its concessionaires.
In Portugal, the government is working towards the launch of the country’s first offshore wind tender later this year, when 3.5 GW are expected to be offered across three sites.
At the beginning of this year, an inter-ministerial working group on offshore wind delineated several areas for commercial projects that would accommodate 10 GW of offshore wind capacity, in line with the plan announced last year.
The areas that were pinpointed are located in waters off Viana do Castelo (expanding the already existing area), Leixões, Figueira da Foz, Ericeira and Sintra-Cascais, and Sines.
This summer, the inter-ministerial working group proposed putting the areas out to tender in phases, with three areas totalling 3.5 GW to be offered this year, through one or more competitive procedures, as part of the first phase.
The three areas that are expected to be awarded in this first phase are located in Viana do Castelo (1 GW), Leixões (500 MW) and Figueira da Foz (2 GW).