NÚÑEZ DE BALBOA PHOTOVOLTAIC PLANT

Núñez de Balboa, our first photovoltaic macroproject in Spain

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 supply clean energy to 250,000 people.

Location
Usagre (Badajoz)

Total installed capacity
500 MWp

Maximum grid
connection capacity
391 MW

Annual production
832 GWh

Total investment
290 million euros

Start date
First quarter 2020

Núñez de Balboa
photovoltaic plant

Iberdrola takes a decisive step towards photovoltaic energy with the construction of the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant in Usagre (Badajoz), the biggest photovoltaic plant under construction in Europe. 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 the first trimester of 2020 —, will supply clean energy to 250,000 people, more than the population of Cáceres and Badajoz put together, avoiding the emission into the atmosphere of 215,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

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

With practically the entire structure now firmly anchored in the ground, Núñez de Balboa covers an area of nearly 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) and will produce around 832 GWh per year. More than half of its 1,430,000 photovoltaic panels — which will be installed on 288,000 ground mounts and will weigh a total of 12,100 metric tons — have already been assembled and their construction has created the record number of more than 1,200 jobs, 70% of them for workers from Extremadura. Electromechanical assembly is expected to be completed in December.

The project's logistical complexity — transporting the main components to the site involves some 3,200 containers — requires a major effort to coordinate the manufacturing, transport and on-site assembly phases. On the other hand, the modular installation design simplifies the installation work and leads to greater safety.

The project includes the development of the whole grid connection infrastructure. 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 400 kV Bienvenida substation, located in the town of the same name.

PIONEER IN GREEN LOANS

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) will contribute 290 million euros (145 the EIB and 140 the ICO) to finance the plant, thanks to an agreement signed with Iberdrola. The construction of Núñez de Balboa will create over 1,000 jobs 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 — of which more than 1,700 are already under construction or awaiting administrative approval —, thus placing this region right in the middle of its European renewable strategy. The announcement was made 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. These actions will enable jobs to be created for 20,000 people. Iberdrola is the leader in energy from renewable sources in Spain, with an installed capacity of 15,828 MW.

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).