The Núñez de Balboa plant occupies an area of 1,000 hectares and is situated on the territory of three municipalities.
As solar PV continues to conquer the world, large-scale plants keep appearing one after another. This time it is the turn of a Spanish company, Iberdrola, to launch Europe’s new largest solar PV plant.
The Núñez de Balboa plant occupies an area of 1,000 hectares and is situated on the territory of three municipalities. Its 1,430,000 solar panels with 500 MW of total capacity contribute to the 4 GW of solar capacity Spain added in 2019.
Núñez de Balboa has been built with the help of €290 million’s worth of green finance from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Spain’s state financial agency. The plant is calculated to prevent 215,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, which equals 0.9% of the country’s total emissions. However, this doesn’t mean actual emission reductions.
The company has already secured contracts with 30 suppliers, many of whom are local, expecting to provide energy to 250,000 people. The project is also contributing to employment in the region, with 70% of the 1,200 hired people being locals.
Iberdrola is Spain’s largest renewable energy producer with 16,000 MW of total capacity installed within the country and almost twice as much globally. This partly explains its production cycle, which took one year from scratch: very fast for a project on such a large scale.
The plant outdoes Europe’s previous largest project of this kind, a 300-megawatt Solar PV plant built by Cesta in France. Yet Núñez de Balboa is yet just another milestone in Iberdrola’s ambitious journey. Its 590-megawatt Francisco Pizarro project might break the current record in 2022.
In total, the company plans to install 10,000 MW of renewables capacities by 2030. This makes Spain’s goal of 100% renewables by 2050 sound eminently achievable.