Europe

Portugal proposes ten hydroelectric projects totaling 1,096 MW

Portugal Economy Minister Manuel Pinho announced the government will invest in ten new hydroelectric projects totaling 1,096 MW.

Pinho presented a national program of dams with high hydroelectric potential in five river basins that the Ministerio da Economia estimated would require an investment of 1.14 billion euros (US$1.61 billion).

The minister said October 4 that development of the projects would put Portugal in third place in Europe, behind Sweden and Austria, in the development of renewable energy. He said failure of Portugal to use its hydropower resources would be like Venezuela not utilizing its petroleum reserves.

The proposed projects, by river basin, include:
o Douro: 109-MW Daivoes, Tamega River; 234-MW Foz Tua, Tua River (HNN 7/31/06); 163-MW Fridao, Tamega River; 112-MW Gouvaes, Torno and Tamega rivers; 113-MW Padroselos, Beca and Tamega rivers; 90-MW Vidago, Tamega River;
o Mondego: 72-MW Girabolhos, Mondego River;
o Tejo: 78-MW Almourol, Tejo River; 48-MW Alvito, Ocreza River;
o Vouga: 77-MW Pinhosao, Vouga River.

Pinho said hydro projects totaling 2,000 MW are to be launched this year, including announced projects 170-MW Baixo Sabor (HNN 9/12/07), 243-MW Picote 2 (HNN 3/23/07), 178-MW Bemposta 2 (HNN 8/28/07), and 259.2-MW Alqueva. (HNN 4/17/07)

The minister said the goal is to reach production of 7,000 MW of hydropower by 2020, although that goal might be accelerated, he said, due to the number of projects already under study. (HNN 6/19/07)

EDP to compete for hydropower concessions

Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal (EDP) said it plans to enter all state tenders to operate new dams in Portugal. EDP, which operates most of Portugal’s hydroelectric projects, currently produces 4,404 MW of hydropower.

“We will enter all tenders,� EDP Chief Executive Antonio Mexia said October 4. �EDP’s goal is to have the best offer for all these projects.”

EDP said earlier this year it plans to invest 2.5 billion euros (US$3.28 billion) in hydroelectric plants in coming years. (HNN 6/28/07) Mexia said he expects to boost EDP’s total hydroelectric power to 7,000 MW with those investments.