Photovoltaic plants of Cedillo
The Cedillo photovoltaic project, a real engineering challenge
The Iberdrola group reaffirms its commitment to renewable energies in Spain with the commissioning of two photovoltaic plants in Cedillo, Extremadura. With more than 250,000 solar panels, these plants will produce 156,000 MWh of electricity per year, enabling the distribution of clean energy to more than 45,000 households. Their construction, located in the municipalities of Majada Alta and San Antonio, involves important technical milestones, especially the installation of the substation associated with the plant.
The new photovoltaic facility commissioned in Cedillo, to the west of Cáceres, came into operation in August 2022. This brings to twenty the number of renewable facilities operated by Iberdrola in Extremadura, where it currently has an installed green power capacity of 3,867 MW, 47% of which corresponds to the 12 solar plants that the company has in operation in the region.
The construction of this project required Iberdrola to overcome significant logistical challenges in order to ensure that an essential installation for the energy system has a minimal environmental impact. The company has undertaken a complex solution to jointly distribute the energy produced by these photovoltaic plants and the almost 500 MW hydroelectric plant also located in the municipality to ensure the minimum impact on the environment of the Alto Tajo Natural Parkk, a protected area between Spain and Portugal.
Faced with this challenge, Iberdrola has installed a 300 kVencapsulated substation off-site in Italy. Prior to its on-site assembly, this installation undertook a complex journey by boat from Venice to Seville along the waters of the Guadalquivir and, from there, travelled through Andalusia and Extremadura in large trucks.
The substation was inserted in containers placed on a six-metre-deep structure, through which all the cables that distribute the power to the grid are connected. Each of these containers weighs more than 50 tonnes and large overhead cranes were needed to place them without interfering with the four evacuation lines of the hydroelectric power plant. A high-voltage challenge achieved thanks to the involvement of more than 300 local workers.
This innovative infrastructure will also serve a future 375 MW photovoltaic plant, which has already obtained the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and will soon begin construction. This facility - backed by the town council and the Cedillo Agrarian Society - is currently being processed by the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge. In this way, it avoids the installation of further evacuation networks, which again favours the reduction of environmental impact and integration into the territory. In addition, special measures for the preservation of the environment are implemented in the construction of the photovoltaic plant.
Video of the construction of the two plants, called Majada Alta and San Antonio.
Strong respect for the environment and cultural heritage
Iberdrola's commitment to the environment and respect for historical and cultural heritage is particularly relevant in the construction of projects such as Cedillo. In addition to undertaking important technical milestones to minimise the impact on nature, the company works to conserve important findings in the vicinity of the project.
During the clearing of the land prior to construction, which was carried out in compliance with the archaeological monitoring required by the regulations of the Junta de Extremadura, a pre-Romanesque necropolis and a dolmen were located and discovered. The necropolis (from the 5th century) has 32 tombs and six archaeologists worked on it, who were in charge of rescuing, cataloguing and documenting the discovery in order to make it available to the Junta de Extremadura. The dolmen is estimated to be between 3,500 and 4,000 years old.
Iberdrola also discovered a funerary stele that has been transferred to the Provincial Museum of Cáceres and is working with the authorities on the possibility of turning these findings into a point of tourist interest.
Iberdrola, world leader in renewable energies
At Iberdrola, we decided to commit to renewable energies 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 renewable energies, reaching 41,246 MW of renewables in operation by the end of the first half of 2023.
This commitment is reflected in our record investment plan of €47 billion in the period 2023-2025, of which we will allocate 17,000 million euros to the renewables business. With these investments, we will increase our installed renewable capacity by 12,100 MW to 52,000 MW by 2025 —6,300 MW of photovoltaic, 3,100 MW of onshore wind, 1,800 MW of offshore, 700 MW of batteries and 200 MW of hydro.