6 June 2013 – Students at Lisbon University will be running their computers on clean solar power thanks to the Conergy modules and inverters of the 640 kilowatt rooftop plant promoted by Lisbon University in collaboration with Galp Energia and Capa. On the roofs of the Psychology and Science Departments, the education faculty as well as on the refectory 2,600 Conergy "P-Series" modules in conjunction with 37 Conergy IPG T inverters will be producing over one million kilowatt hours of solar energy a year. That is sufficient to supply 250 homes in the capital of Portugal or to supply 10,000 laptops for a year running eight hours a day. This means that the plant on a total area of 5,000 square metres can cover around 6% of the overall energy requirements on the campus.
Conergy plants for universities in Portugal, Spain, Saudi Arabia and the USA
With this project, Lisbon University is pursuing the same sustainability course as many other universities and educational establishments worldwide. Only recently, a 1.2 megawatt plant with Conergy "P Series" modules installed on a car port was connected to the grid at the University of Almería in neighbouring Spain. Back in 2010, solution and service provider Conergy had equipped KAUST University in Saudi Arabia with a 2 megawatt power plant. Numerous public schools in the USA followed in 2011 and 2012, in California and Hawaii amongst other places. There, Conergy constructed plants with a total capacity of more than four megawatt for public schools on the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu and Kauai.
Expert forecast: Portuguese solar market set to double by 2015
For the new power plant on the university campus in Lisbon, Conergy has supplied components to Galp Energia and Capa, the latter of which is acting as the general contractor. With this prestige project on university rooftops, Conergy is expanding its international sales activities in Portugal further. Currently, the market is still relatively small, mainly due to the market cap. By the end of 2012, the installed capacity amounted to around 226 megawatts, but experts expect this to double by 2015 with solar energy being competitive in Portugal already today.
In many cases, grid parity is already a reality for the Portuguese consumer
"Similar to the situation in Spain, solar energy is already competitive in Portugal in many cases today," said Luis Jiménez Gutierrez, Managing Director of Conergy Spain. "In Portugal, the cost for electricity from the grid is close to 14 cents per kilowatt hour without any taxes and thus around 15% higher than the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of solar systems. This means that end consumers save real money with every kilowatt hour they consume themselves. Consequently, there is great potential for the Portuguese market in spite of the current volume capping. And we intend to seize this opportunity in collaboration with our local partners."
Trend onto the roof: local energy supply in modern cities
Conergy and Capa have been partners for years. In Portugal, the two companies have collaborated in the realisation of projects totalling over 2 megawatt in solar capacity. Pedro Araújo, Director of Capa's Energy Division, sees future potential particularly on the country's rooftops: "Rooftop plants are becoming increasingly important for the energy supply in modern cities, and they have a number of advantages. Our project on the university campus is showing the way for future use of the roof spaces of public buildings but also of private homes, factories and commercial buildings as well as shopping and trading centres. Our strength lies in the technical realisation of such installations, and that is why we want to continue pursuing this trend."