Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant

Núñez de Balboa, one of the biggest photovoltaic plant in Europe

Photovoltaic energy Operating plants

The Iberdrola Group, through its subsidiary in Spain, has installed the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant in Badajoz, one of the largest in Europe. With an installed capacity of 500 MWp, this facility will supply clean energy to 250,000 homes.

Nuñez Balboa
Operating plant

Núñez de Balboa Photovoltanic Plant

Location Usagre (Badajoz, Spain)
Capacidad instalada
Total installed capacity 500 MWp
Total investment 290 million euros
Puesta en marcha
Comissioning April 2020

Iberdrola took a decisive step towards photovoltaic energy with the commissioning of the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant in Usagre (Badajoz). The plant, with an installed capacity of 500 MWp (391 MW of maximum grid connection capacity), supplies clean energy to 250,000 homes, 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 Iberdrola Group

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

Núñez de Balboa covers an area of nearly 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) and produces around 832 GWh per year, thanks to its 1,430,000 photovoltaic panels, installed on 288,000 ground mounts and with a total weigh of 12,100 metric tons.

The construction of this project has injected life into the local industrial fabric and created local jobs, with purchases worth €227M from some 30 suppliers, who have participated in the construction, supply of photovoltaic modules, the fixed structure, inverters, transformers, and the civil works and engineering of the electrical lines and substation. The works have created the record number of more than 1,200 jobs, 70 % of them for workers from Extremadura.

Núñez de Balboa in firgures.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Núñez de Balboa in firgures [PDF] External link, opens in new window.

The project's logistical complexity — transporting the main components to the site involved some 3,200 containers — has required 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. It has 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 is exported to the 400 kV Bienvenida substation, located in the town of the same name.

Pioneer in green loans

The European Investment Bank (EIB) External link, opens in new window. and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) External link, opens in new window. contributed 290 million euros (145 the EIB and 140 the ICO) to finance the plant, thanks to an agreement signed with Iberdrola.

Reactivation of the clean energy in Spain

This solar energy project in Spain is part of Iberdrola's plan to install another 2,000 megawatts of solar and wind power in Extremadura by 2022 — of which more than 1,300 are currently awaiting administrative approval —, thus placing this region right in the middle of its European renewable strategy. The announcement was made by the Group's Executive 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, the company has commissioned some plants such as the Ceclavín, Arenales and Campo Arañuelo I and II PV plants. In addition, also under construction are the Francisco Pizarro project — which, with 590 MW, will be the largest in Europe —, in addition to those in Majada Alta and San Antonio (50 MW each).

Power purchase agreements

To ensure the return on investment for this macro-project, Iberdrola has negotiated 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).


And you may also be interested:

What is a PPA?

A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) is a long-term agreement for the purchase of energy. 

Iberdrola, world leader in renewable energies

At Iberdrola, we dare committed to renewable energy more than two decades ago as a fundamental pillar on which to build our safe, clean and competitive business model. Thanks to this vision, we are today world leaders in renewables, reaching 42,387 MW of clean energy in operation  at the end of Q1 2024.

This commitment is reflected in our Strategic Plan, in which we will allocate €15.5bn gross to renewables. More than half of this amount is focused on offshore wind in the US, UK, France and Germany; 28% on onshore wind and 18% on solar.