Portugal tender winner confirmed

A consortium led by Portugal's biggest power group, Eólicas de Portugal (EDP), has emerged victorious in the heated battle for the first 1000 MW of a total 1500 MW of wind capacity put out to tender by the government. Awarded a rating of 80.6% by the tender jury as well as an exceptional merit, which means the capacity could be increased by 20% under the tender rules, EDP's bid beat off fellow Portuguese consortium Ventinveste, headed by Galp Energia, which scored 73.4%.

The two consortia had reached the final stages of the tender process, with bids by two non-Portuguese consortia, Novas Energías Ibéricas (NEI), headed by Spain's Iberdrola, and Ventonorte, headed by Italy's Enel and Spain's Union Fenosa, eliminated in a previous round. Appeals by both eliminated consortia against their elimination were rejected.

The Portuguese economy minister is expected to formally award the tender shortly. Alongside EDP, the winning consortium includes Finerge, Generge, Térmica Portuguesa and turbine supplier Enercon. It will build 48 wind farms and four factories in Viana do Castelo for an overall investment of EUR 1.51 billion. The consortium's Aníbal Fernandes says the bid will create qualified jobs in less developed areas of Portugal and will have a major influence on the balance of payments, as a large percentage of the wind turbines will be produced in Portugal, rather than imported as they are at present.

Once the 1000 MW contract is awarded, the jury will decide whether to embark on evaluating bids for a second 500 MW phase. As the winner of phase one, EDP is automatically excluded from the next tender, though it did not even bid for it. EDP's three competitors have all submitted bids for the 500 MW. The NEI and Ventonorte consortia reportedly have a mid-November deadline to revise the bids they initially submitted in March.

Wind plant are also being developed outside the tender process. The Portuguese government has given the go ahead to ten new renewable energy projects, declaring them to be in the public interest. They are all to be located in nature reserves. Among them will be the 16.2 MW Testos wind farm near Lamego. Developed by EDP subsidiary Enernova, it will comprise nine 1.8 MW turbines.