Spanish-based electric utility Iberdrola has announced it is moving forward with plans to build a 590MW solar project which, upon completion, would become Europe’s largest solar PV project.
The €300 million Francisco Pizarro solar project is part of the company’s larger renewables strategy which currently boasts over 2GW of renewables under construction and processing in Spain.
The Francisco Pizarro solar project – presumably named for the 16th-century Spanish conquistador who led the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire – is currently being processed by the country’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition and is set to be built within Caceres’ municipal areas of Torrecillas de la Tiesa and Aldeacentenera in the country’s western Extremadura region.
Iberdrola expects construction will employ up to 1,000 people and, upon completion, will generate enough clean electricity to supply the equivalent of 375,000 people each year – more than the total population of the cities of Cáceres and Badajoz – and prevent the emission of around 245,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The Francisco Pizarro solar project will be bigger than the 500MW Núñez de Balboa solar project which Iberdrola is also currently building in Usagre, Badajoz, also in the Spanish Extremadura region.
This project is set to be completed in September 2020 and will be the largest solar project in Europe. The Francisco Pizarro will take that mantle when it is completed in 2022.
Iberdrola is currently targeting 3GW of renewables by 2022, and 10GW by 2030. Iberdrola’s plans also include creating 20,000 jobs through 2030. The company is already well on its way to meeting these targets, with 700MW of renewables already under construction with commencement dates between 2019 and 2020.
Iberdrola also boasts significant wind energy in Spain, being the company’s largest producer of wind energy with an installed power base of 5.7GW. Expanding that out to include both wind energy and hydroelectric, Iberdrola boasts 15.8GW in Spain alone, with almost 30GW of renewables installed around the world.