EDP and Planbelas at the creation forefront of a “solar neighbourhood” in Portugal

EDP Comercial and Planbelas have just launched, in Lisbon Green Valley, the first “solar neighbourhood”, a community for collective self-consumption of renewable energy (CACER) in Portugal, with the aim of fostering the production of energy from the sun (therefore 100% renewable) and its self‐consumption, generating substantial savings in the electricity bill. This new model not only promotes the production and the exchange of energy locally, offering great benefits in terms of sustainability too, but also allows to improve the energy efficiency of the residents of the solar neighbourhood and a substantial reduction in the generation of greenhouse gases (GHG).

This initiative, which started as a pilot project during its first phase, will soon be extended to the entire Lisbon Green Valley residential complex, reaching a total of up to 100 houses and buildings by the end of next year.

It is a pioneering initiative in the residential segment and an example to follow. Recent legislative innovation authorizes the creation of collective self‐consumption energy communities, or solar neighbourhoods, by allowing the supply of solar energy from photovoltaic panels installed in a villa ‐ the supplier ‐ to other homes or businesses in the neighbourhood ‐ the consumers. In this first solar neighbourhood, a villa with 9 solar panels of 330 W each, with a total of 2970 W of installed power, is estimated to save 500 euros / year and prevent the emission of almost one ton of CO2 into the environment per year.

The place chosen for the implementation of the first solar neighbourhood was Lisbon Green Valley in Portugal, not only because it is one of the most sustainable residential developments in Europe, as well as due to the strategic objectives of both companies in terms of sustainability: Planbelas, in its constant search for innovative sustainable solutions in order to reduce environmental impact; and EDPC, with a view to implementing this type of energy solutions in the community and the development of projects, never losing sight of the goal of reducing gaseous carbon emissions.

It is important to note that the Government recently passed legislation that aims to promote collective self‐consumption of renewable energy and, therefore, the concept of energy communities, an important measure to achieve a 47% share of energy from renewable sources in the gross final consumption in 2030. It was also announced that consumers who produce their own electricity for individual or collective consumption, and who inject surplus electricity into the national grid, will now be exempt from paying services of general economic interest (SGEI), responsible for a substantial part of the electricity bill.