Europe completes largest solar energy plant

Europe completes largest solar energy plant

Reported by Euro Weekly News, Europe has finally completed its biggest solar photovoltaic plant (solarPV), located in Spain.

Iberdrola – the company responsible for the generation and supply of this plant – completed the project in a year, which is a record time for this kind of construction. Known as the  Núñez de Balboa project, it obtained the permit for commissioning from the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

The national grid – known as Red Eléctrica de España (REE) – has begun tests for energisation, and if these give the green light, the plant will start operations in early 2020.

Núñez de Balboa features a mammoth 500 megawatts of installed capacity, attracting a cost of approximately €300 million. Iberdrola says it all comes as part of its aim to relaunch green energy across Spain in the near future. Furthermore, the company is looking to install 3,000 MW by 2022, using Extremadura within the core of its plans.

The completed plant spans over 1,000 hectares, alongside Usagre, Hinojosa del Valle and Bienvenida. Promoted in part with Ecoenergías del Guadiana, the project has already broken records for renewables. This includes 1,430,000 solar panels installed across the development, with 115 inverters and two substations featuring millions of smaller components.

Economically, the project has already given the Extremadura surrounds of spain a fairly significant boost. The project needs more than 1,200 employees to work over peak periods, where 70 per cent of them will originate from Extremadura itself.

The development has also positively affected the value chain, with up to 30 suppliers involved in the project – most of which are local. The purchases from these companies sits at almost €227 million.

In the future, the plant will create clean energy and distribute it across 250,000 people annually. That’s equivalent to the populations of Badajoz and Cáceres  together. It will also cut down approximately 215,000 metric tons of CO2 commissions a year.

Initially, Iberdrola obtained financial support from the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) – Spain’s primary financial firm.

With long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) already in place, the plant will provide clean energy to big clients who are committed to creating a more sustainable outlook for banking, retail and telecommunication sectors.