The Lisbon Municipal Council may gain 160,000 euros/year through the sale ( to the electricity operator EDP - Energias de Portugal) of electricity generated from solar photovoltaic panels installed in primary schools and municipal buildings located in municipal neighborhoods (bairros municipais).
The micro-generation project, presented yesterday, is taking first steps, but expectations are optimistic. "The return on investment is assured and in eight or nine years, the Municipal Council will make money," said the Mayor of the municipality.
It is estimated that each micro-plant produces 5,110 KW/year, representing a saving of two tonnes of carbon dioxide per system.
Second Gebalis, the municipal company that manages municipal neighborhoods in Lisbon, the systems already installed on the roof of 23 buildings (22 for housing and one for services, the Gebalis headquarter) will bring in the municipality 80,000euros/year - an important contribution to mitigate the damages from the municipal company, that spent 1,026,000 euros with electricity bills of its “bairros”, last year.
However, it’s still necessary to amortize the investment of around 500,000 euros made in systems, which are not yet producing electricity.
For now, the micro-generation is only a reality in the School 117 (Bairro da Flamenga, Marvila), which served as a pilot project and is selling energy to the grid since October - on 14 August 2008 it was officially certified the first installation of photovoltaic micro-generation in a school of Lisbon. Simultaneously, the installation of a exploitation unit of solar thermal energy will allow energy savings of about 70% and economic savings of 80%.
School 117 will be followed by seven other primary and pre schools, whose systems are already installed and approved. With the micro-generation working on eight schools, it is expected an earning revenue of 26,000 euros/year through the sale of energy.
If everything goes well, other 23 schools will join the project. In that case, the gain will reach 75,000 euros/year.
The municipality has spent 25,000 euros per school (200,000 in total) in the installation and certification of the PV solar panels.
In fact, the integrated systems in buildings (BIPV) have a great potential and can lead to a creation of a sustained market (the installation of 1.5 kWp systems in new buildings could result in an annual potential of 60 MWp).
Some benefits include the creation of jobs associated with market promotion and evolution of PV. The investment in the area of photovoltaic systems can create companies of manufacturing, engineering, installation and maintenance and employment with a particular focus at the local level.
Manufacturing: 7 jobs per MW produced.
Engineering and Installation: 30 jobs per MW installed.
Maintenance: 2 jobs per MW installed.
To ensure its 2010 objective for power generation based on renewable energies - 45% of total electricity consumption - Portugal must implement the next two points, with respect of solar power and micro-generation :
Solar energy: construction of the world's largest photovoltaic plant (the Moura plant) and ensure link to micro-generation policies. The Moura Photovoltaic Power Station represents about 30% of the objectives of photovoltaics in Portugal (national target is 150 MW).
Micro-generation: program for installing 50,000 systems until 2010, with incentives to the installation of water heating systems based on solar energy in existing houses. This program can create new business opportunities for installers, industry and energy service companies, stimulating the market of renewables. The micro-generation program is mainly oriented to electricity consumers, small businesses and communities. The special regime applies exclusively to renewable sources (solar PV, wind, hydro, biomass and fuel cells) with the maximum of interconnection power by application limited to 3,68 kW. This program is under the DL n.º 363/2007, 2 November.