Global energy leaders to unite in Portugal as first offshore wind auction begins

Energize Editors

Energize Editors

Leaders from across the offshore wind energy sector are set to unite in Portugal after the nation kicked off the preparatory process for its first auction of licences to build wind farms off the Atlantic coast.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Action of Portugal announced it was inviting companies to present non-binding declarations of interest by Nov. 14. These parties will then be invited to participate in a dialogue phase to discuss options regarding pre-qualification and bidding models.

In this first auction round, the Portuguese government has announced intentions to proceed with the development of offshore wind power in the regions of Viana do Castelo, Leixões, and Figueira da Foz, reaching up to 3.5 GW of total capacity. These first steps sets in motion Portugal’s ambitious targets of reaching up to 10GW of capacity through a total investment of 30-40 billion euros ($33-44 billion) by 2030.

The news comes as Portugal’s leading centre of excellence – WavEC Offshore Renewables – prepares to stage an international seminar in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Lisbon, attracting global leaders from across the offshore wind sector. 

The event titled ‘Paving the Way for Large Scale Offshore Wind Deployment’ will be staged at the Museu do Oriente (Oriente Museum), Lisbon, on December 06.

Speakers will include Michel Heijdra, Director General for Climate and Energy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, Margriet Leemhuis, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Portugal and Henk van Elburg, from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). It will also include BayWa r.e. AG, Madoqua Renewables, ACCIONA energía, IberBlue Wind, ING Bank, Miranda Law Firm, REN, RWE, ISQ, Renewable Risk Advisers, WAM Horizon, among other top speakers. (see notes to editors for full programme)

Gold Sponsor BayWa r.e., who has been developing since 2021, the 600MW Viana Project, with the ambition to be the World’s first subsidy free floating wind project, and for which has submitted a permit application, in Q3 2022, for the exclusive use of the renewables dedicated area in the current Marine Planning, off the coast of Viana do Castelo, is looking forward to leverage the extensive work performed with the local industrial partners and stakeholders, to contribute to the achievement of Portugal’s ambitious offshore wind targets, in a sustainable and cost efficient way, maximizing the socio-economic value for the local economy.

Ricardo Rocha, Technical Director Offshore Wind at BayWa r.e. said: “We are delighted to be supporting WavEC as lead sponsor during this exciting phase for Portugal’s offshore wind sector.”

Luso-Dutch project development company Madoqua Renewables, which is also sponsoring the event, is focused on delivering Power-2-X technology-based decarbonisation projects. Is working on developing end-to-end offshore value chains with experienced technology and industry players with whom Madoqua has developed global technical partnerships. The offshore energy business is based in the Netherlands and is working across several geographies within Europe. 

Marcel Deurhof, Project Director, Offshore Energies said: “There is an opportunity for Portugal to harness offshore wind for the production of hydrogen and hydrogen related derivatives. The upcoming seminar aligns with one of our core interests to connect and collaborate with developers, industrial experts, port infrastructure experts and investors to develop strategic export-import value chain hubs with potential production roots in Portugal.”

The event will conclude with a special anniversary ceremony as WavEC Offshore Renewables celebrates its 20th anniversary, with a tribute to its founder Professor Antonio Sarmento.

António Sarmento said: “It’s a fitting moment to celebrate our organisation’s 20th anniversary in tandem with Portugal’s ambitious expansion in offshore wind. Over the years WavEC has built a reputation as a European Centre of Excellence focusing on the development of marine renewable energy through R&D, knowledge transfer and innovation. During that time, we have delivered more than 70 R&D projects in collaboration with more than 350 partners, in 30 plus countries.
“Looking ahead, we are now preparing for a new and exciting era for offshore wind. Our team is currently supporting interested parties during this initial phase of the auction process with a range of legal, environmental, economic and technical advice. In addition, our annual seminar will provide a golden opportunity to hear from expert panellists who will share insight on the Portuguese opportunity and broader industry outlook. Dedicated sessions will dive into mitigating and overcoming supply chain challenges, namely the need for developing suitable port infrastructure to accommodate the large-scale expansion of renewable energy and hydrogen production, as well as the role of offshore multi-use solutions. We encourage delegates to reach out and register now to avoid missing out.”

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