Covers environment, transportation, urban and regional planning, economic and social issues with a focus on Finland and Portugal.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Serpa (Brinches) Photovoltaic Power Station [PICS]

Beginning of Autumn. At the end of a warm day - half an hour before the sunset and after having rolled across the spacious Alentejo’s plains - we finally get to the little village of Brinches. Next to a roundabout we find a rural road, which takes us through hills covered by vineyards and olive trees, typical of this soft landscape.

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At one “corner” of the solar power station, we meet two men (a dog and some cows as well) who are contemplating the cloudy final of the day, uncommon this time of the year in one of the Iberian zones with the highest levels of solar radiation. In fact, these two men were the land owners, having rented their terrains to the GE Energy Financial Services, the project investor. What is very interesting in the Serpa project is the integration of clean power generation with the local agriculture.

They wonder about the huge quantity of energy daily injected in the electricity grid, as well as the fact the power plant being remotely controlled. The distance between the two PV power stations of Amareleja and Brinches is around 49 Km. During the construction there were many workers, but now the attentions are more focused on the “rival” Moura, the world's largest, after having dethroned Brinches this year.

Aerial view of Serpa solar power plant /

Brinches, Serpa, Portugal / Google Earth

Specifications of Serpa photovoltaic power station

Location: Portugal, Alentejo region, district of Beja, municipality of Serpa, parish of Brinches

Area occupied by power station: 60 ha

Installed rated power: 11 MWp

Annual electricity generation: > 18 GWh (equivalent to the consumption of
8,000 homes and farms in the region)

PV surface area: 34 ha

Number of PV panels: 52 000 (Sanyo, Sharp, SunPower and Suntech)

Solar tracking system: “PowerLight PowerTracker System”

Saving of more than 30,000 tons/year in greenhouse gas emissions compared to equivalent fossil fuel generation

Investment : 62 million euros

Conclusion: operational since January 2007

Project participants:
GE Energy Financial Services (Investor)
Power Light Corporation (Project and Construction)
Catavento, S.A. (Promoter and Asset Manager)

Photos by Luis Alves /
(except the last two images)

This article is the part 5 of the article: “Alentejo: Solar Region”.

“Photovoltaic Solar in Portugal” - part 1 of the article: “Alentejo: Solar Region”
“Moura (Amareleja) Photovoltaic Power Station” - part 2 of the article: “Alentejo: Solar Region”
“Moura Renewable Energies Project“ - part 3 of the article: “Alentejo: Solar Region”The world’s largest photovoltaic power station [PICS] - part 4 of the article: “Alentejo: Solar Region”


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