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Clean energy: Portugal will begin building its largest wind farm early next year

American Public Power Association
American Public Power Association Copyright The wind farm will be incorporated into the Tâmega hydropower complex, one of the largest hydroelectric projects completed in Europe in the last 25 years.
Copyright The wind farm will be incorporated into the Tâmega hydropower complex, one of the largest hydroelectric projects completed in Europe in the last 25 years.
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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The wind farm will be incorporated into the Tâmega hydropower complex, one of the largest hydroelectric projects completed in Europe in the last 25 years.

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A new wind farm in Portugal has obtained environmental approval from the government - and once built it will become the country’s largest. 

Renewable energy company Iberdrola will integrate the plant into the Tâmega pumped-storage hydro complex in northern Portugal.

The new wind farm will have a capacity of 274 MW, able to support the annual consumption of 128,000 homes.

Iberdrola says they will introduce a range of measures to safeguard the environment around the new plant.

Portugal’s largest wind farm gets the green light

Iberdrola has obtained the second and final environmental permit for the Tâmega Eólico project, known as DCAPE ('Decisão da conformidade ambiental do projeto de execução' – Decision of Environmental Conformity of the Execution Project).

The next step will be to apply for a production licence from the Portuguese Directorate General of Energy and Geology. Iberdrola's goal is to start work in early 2025.

The energy company’s new project will become the largest hybrid clean energy scheme in Portugal

The wind farm will utilise the same grid connection as the Tâmega pumped-storage hydro complex, maximising the capacity of the connection point.  

“The two technologies will complement each other to maximise output and production, optimising the electric infrastructure,” the company said in a press release.

The environmental impact of Portugal’s largest wind farm

The plant will use the same roads and facilities already in use at the Tâmega complex, minimising its environmental impact

Iberdrola also says they will implement a range of measures to support ecosystems in the wind farm location. These will include some of the initiatives already in place at the Tâmega complex such as planting native species and forest management. 

Wildlife will also be supported by planting fruit trees, restoring ponds and installing nest boxes for bats. 

The company will introduce a series of Ecological Systems Monitoring Programs for animals such as bats and wolves as well as for plants and natural habitats.

Portugal is home to one of Europe’s largest hydroelectric plants

The Tâmega hydropower project is one of the largest hydroelectric projects completed in Europe in the last 25 years. 

It is made up of three plants: the Alto Tâmega Hydroelectric Power Plant, with an installed capacity of 160 MW, the Gouvães Pumped Storage Plant (880 MW) and the Daivões Power Plant (118 MW), the latter two in operation since 2022.

The complex is able to produce 1,766 GWh per year, enough to meet the energy needs of neighbouring municipalities and the cities of Braga and Guimarães (440,000 homes). 

It also has a storage capacity of 40 million kWh, equivalent to the energy consumed by 11 million people during 24 hours in their homes.

Tâmega currently displaces the emission of 1.2 million tons of CO2 per year and avoids the import of more than 160 thousand tons of oil per year.

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