NÚÑEZ DE BALBOA PHOTOVOLTAIC PLANT

Núñez de Balboa, the largest photovoltaic project in Europe

The Iberdrola group, through its subsidiary in Spain, is building in Badajoz the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant, which with 500 MWp of installed capacity, will be the largest photovoltaic project in Europe and supply clean energy to 250,000 people.

Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant: main data (Picture: The Copper Crossing power station, in USA).#RRSSNúñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant: main data (Picture: The Copper Crossing power station, in USA).

Iberdrola takes a decisive step towards photovoltaic energy with the construction of the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant in Usagre (Badajoz). The plant, which will have an installed capacity of 500 MWp (391 MW of maximum grid connection capacity) when it comes into service — scheduled for September 2020 —, will supply clean energy to 250,000 people, more than the population of Cáceres and Badajoz put together. These figures make this new development the biggest photovoltaic project in Europe and the largest facility of its kind undertaken by the group anywhere in the world.

Ignacio Galán, chairman of the Iberdrola group

The plant will avoid the emission of 215,000 tons de CO2 into the atmosphere each year, strengthening our commitment to mitigating global warming

Núñez de Balboa will occupy a surface area of some 1,000 hectares and produce around 832 GWh per year. It will have 288,000 supports on which 1,430,000 photovoltaic panels will be fitted, reaching a total weight of 12,100 tonnes. There will be 115 inverters — to convert the DC produced by the panels into AC suitable for use — and over 2,000 kilometres of medium and low tension cables. The power produced will be exported to the 400kV Bienvenida substation, located in the town of the same name.

This new plant, which will require an investment of €290 million, will create over 1,000 jobs in the construction stage and will involve local businesses.

REACTIVATION OF THE CLEAN ENERGY IN SPAIN

The project is part of the Iberdrola plan to install another 2,000 megawatts of solar and wind power in Extremadura by 2022, thus placing this region right in the middle of its European renewable strategy. The announcement was made today by the group's chairman, Ignacio Galán, during the groundbreaking ceremony which saw the first solar panel installed at Núñez de Balboa. 

Of the new projects in the region some are at an advanced stage of development, including the Ceclavín, Arenales and Campo Arañuelo I and II PV plants.

This move is the result of the company's plan to reactivate clean energy in Spain, where the company will invest €8 billion between 2018 and 2022, and commission up to 10,000 megawatts by 2030.

POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

To ensure the return on investment for this macro-project, Iberdrola is negotiating private agreements with different companies to supply them long term with 100% renewable energy from the plant in Extremadura (Spain). So far the company has signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with three major Spanish corporations:

  • The bank Kutxabank, which will use this electricity exclusively at all of its banking premises and branches across Spain.
  • The telecommunications operator Euskaltel.
  • The distribution group Uvesco (BM Supermercados).