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Cleanwatts and the Portalegre Fire Department will bring cheaper energy to over 200 families
14 June 20233 minutes


  • 231.3 kW of installed power
  • The Portalegre Fire Department will save 75% on their energy costs on average
  • The project will save 87 tons of C02 emissions
  • 207 families will be supported with affordable and clean energy


Cleanwatts will establish a Renewable Energy Community (REC) with the Humanitarian Association of the Voluntary Firemen of Portalegre. The proposal was presented and approved by members in their General Assembly, and the contract was signed by the board chaired by João Mota Lourenço in the beginning of May. Now, the photovoltaic plants will be installed, with a total power of 231.3 kW. Cleanwatts will fully financed the project without any cost to the fire department.  

This Energy Community will offer the Portalegre fire department an average discount of 75% on their electricity bill compared to the estimated tariff for energy from the grid. The firefighters will also become climate-positive, generating 376% more green energy than their total consumption. This will also enable them to avoid the equivalent of 87 tons of CO2. In addition, the Association will have greater energy independence. As part of the REC, 51% of the energy consumed will n come from the solar pv assets (known as self-consumption).  

Maria João Benquerença, Director of Cleanwatts Energy Communities, said:

We are very pleased with the creation of this Energy Community with the Firefighters of Portalegre. This REC is closely aligned with what we want the Energy Communities to be, particularly in its social aspect. We know that the Portalegre Fire Department will put the surplus energy produced to good use by helping disadvantaged families in the region and thus contributing to combating energy poverty, which is one of the main objectives of Energy Communities.  


Through this REC, the Firefighters will support 207 disadvantaged families. These families who will benefit from a community social tariff about 30% lower than current market tariffs. With this project, Cleanwatts reinforces its investment in Portalegre and its focus on the Alentejo.

Maria continued:

We have invested heavily in this area and will continue to do so, because at Cleanwatts we believe that there is also room for innovation in the countryside. The Energy Communities of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Portalegre, Lar de São Domingos and the Os Traquinas nursery school in Fortios have already been approved by the Directorate General for Energy and Geology (DGEG) – and the installations are about to start soon.

The DGEG has had some difficulty in dealing with the numerous requests for approval of Energy Communities in recent months, which delays the whole process, but things are moving forward.

João Mota Lourenço, President of the Humanitarian Association of Voluntary Firefighters of Portalegre, emphasizes that:

This project is an essential part of the Portalegre Fire Department energy efficiency plan, which has decided to implement a Renewable Energy Community in partnership with Cleanwatts. The creation of this REC aims to contribute, on the one hand, to reduce the ecological footprint and, on the other hand, to create conditions for the community of the Fire Department of Portalegre to enjoy cleaner energy with the respective cost reduction in their energy bill”.

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