Spain’s energy market is about to benefit from what has been billed as the largest solar farm in the whole of Europe. The project is going to be situated in the Western region of Extremadura and already has the blessing of the country’s Ecological Transition ministry, which is tasked with proposing and executing the government’s policy on energy and the environment for the transition to a more ecological and productive social mode.
The project is a collaboration between Iberdrola, which is the largest services company in Spain, and French food company Danone SA. While Iberdrola already has a plant in the same region which outputs 500 MW, the new plant is expected to produce 590 MW of energy from photo-voltaic cells. This is coming after the country added 2.9 GW photo-voltaic power sources to its market in 2019.
The plant is scheduled to come online by April 2022 and will supply power (73 GWh per year) to Danone’s companies located in Spain for 10 years, under the joint agreement. It will cost a total of 300 million-euro ($364 million). It means 100% of the food giant’s energy needs will be fulfilled from the proposed plant.
Iberdrola is understood to have kick-started the whole process, which will run in tandem with other renewable energy developmental projects the company is involved in. Their energy interests spread as far as the United State and Mexico. Impact assessment tests and hearings, which are mandatory, are expected to start soon.
The plant, which has been christened the Pizarro plant (after the famous conquistador, Francisco Pizarro), is planned to cover a ground surface of 1300 hectares and make use of 1.7 million solar panels. In the immediate time frame, the funding will come from the company’s liquid assets, even though they are open to the consideration of loans in the future.
This new development solidifies Spain’s position as a market leader in Europe in the renewable energy sector. This is coming on the back of strong support from the current Government. The country was expected to add a total of 7 GW of energy from solar and wind sources last year. By contrast, Europe as a whole added 16.7 GW in 2019, although this is expected to more than double to 35 GW before the end of 2022.
According to Iberdrola’s estimates, when the Pizarro plant is completed, it will help prevent a considerable emission of 245,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to the greenhouse effect.
Written by D.O. for www.ShargeMe.blog