Iberdrola has more than 1,700 MW of photovoltaic under construction or in the pipeline in Extremadura, making the region the centre of its renewable strategy
Núñez de Balboa breaks records as its workforce tops 1,200, 70% of them local
- The Regional Minister for Ecological Transition and Sustainability visited the plant to see how the works are progressing: the piling for the entire structure is now complete and more than 50% of the photovoltaic panels have been assembled
- Iberdrola's plan to relaunch clean energies in Spain includes the installation of 3,000 new MW by 2022
The Núñez de Balboa project, which Iberdrola is building in Extremadura, is breaking records: it is the largest photovoltaic plant in Europe under construction (500 MW) and has reached a new milestone as its workforce tops 1,200. 70% of these are local workers, of whom up to 150 are from the municipalities where the project is located, Usagre and Hinojosa del Valle.
Olga Garcia, Extremadura's Minister for Ecological Transition and Sustainability, visited the plant this morning accompanied by Julio Castro, Iberdrola's Director of Renewables in Spain, to see how the works are progressing. The piling for the entire structure is now practically complete and more than 50% of the 1,430,000 photovoltaic panels are in place. The construction of the plant's substation and switching substation is almost complete and the electromechanical assembly is expected to be completed by December.
The project's logistical complexity -transporting the main components to the site, which involves some 3,200 containers- requires a major effort to coordinate the manufacturing, transport and on-site assembly phases. What's more, the modular installation design simplifies the installation work and leads to greater safety.
The plant, which occupies a surface area of almost 1,000 hectares, will generate enough clean energy to meet the needs of 250,000 people, more than the combined populations of the region's largest cities, Cáceres and Badajoz. It will also prevent the emission of 215,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, strengthening Iberdrola's commitment to protecting the environment and mitigating global warming.
This facility, in which Iberdrola will have invested 300 million euros in by the time it is brought into operation in the first quarter of 2020, is part of Iberdrola's plan to relaunch clean energies in Spain. The initiative has been promoted with the collaboration of Ecoenergías del Guadiana, in the form of a joint co-development fully respectful of the environment and land-use planning.
More than 1,700 renewable MW under construction or in the pipeline
In addition to Núñez de Balboa, which is in the construction phase, Iberdrola has made progress on six other photovoltaic projects in Extremadura: Francisco Pizarro (590 MW), located in Torrecillas de la Tiesa; Ceclavín (328 MW), in Alcántara; Arenales (150 MW), in Cáceres; and Campo Arañuelo I, II and III (50 MW each), in Almaraz.
This brings the number of photovoltaic megawatts under construction or in the pipeline in the region to 1,700, making Extremadura the focus of Iberdrola's renewable strategy in Spain.
Training and education in renewables
Iberdrola's actions in Extremadura also include training and education in renewables. In May, Iberdrola, Usagre Council and the Mancomunidad of Llerena signed a collaboration agreement aimed at training students of the Campiña Sur Vocational School in Extremadura with actions related to the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant.
The agreement includes educational visits to the site and an internship at the Núñez de Balboa plant.
Plan to relaunch clean energy in Spain
Iberdrola's plan to invest in renewable energies in Spain includes the installation of 3,000 new MW by 2022. By 2030, the company forecasts point to the installation of 10,000 new MW. These actions will enable jobs to be created for 20,000 people.
In Spain, Iberdrola is the leader in renewable energies, with an installed capacity of 15,828 MW in the country (30,300 MW worldwide), making its generation fleet one of the cleanest in the energy sector.
Iberdrola's commitment to a decarbonised economic model has led it to earmark 34 billion euros for global investments between now and 2022 in renewable energies, smart and robust distribution networks, and storage technologies, all on top of the 100 billion it has already invested since 2001.