Largest photovoltaic power plant in Europe goes online

solar power

Global energy group, Iberdrola, has put into operation the ‘Francisco Pizarro’ project in Extremadura, Spain – the largest photovoltaic power plant in Europe and the largest facility of this type operated by the group in the world.

Located between the municipalities of Torrecillas de la Tiesta and Aldeacentenera, the plant has an installed capacity of 590 megawatts (MW).

Francisco Pizarro’ is made up of around 1.5 million photovoltaic modules that can generate enough clean energy to supply more than 334,000 homes – more than the populations of Badajoz, Cáceres, Plasencia and Don Benito combined – preventing the emission of 150,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.

Iberdrola has guaranteed the viability of this project by signing long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with leading companies in different sectors. Thus, the company will supply 100 per cent renewable electricity from this plant to Danone, Bayer and PepsiCo to cover the energy needs of their centres in Spain.

The company says that these contracts bring stability to investments and have become an optimal tool for managing the electricity supply of large customers committed to accelerating the energy transition to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to clean and sustainable consumption.

The Iberdrola group leads the renewable energy sector in Spain with an installed capacity of more than 19,300 MW, which will reach 25,000 MW in the coming years thanks to its investment plan. The company plans to allocate 14.3 billion by 2025 to the deployment of an ambitious renewables and smart grids plan. 

Extremadura will play a key role in this development. In the period 2020-2025 alone, the company will have installed more than 2,800 MW of renewable energy in the region, with an investment of more than 1,700 million euros, which will have generated some 7,400 jobs over the five-year period. 

It is hoped that this green energy source will enable the production of electricity on a large scale, as in the case of the Francisco Pizarro plant, and through small generators thanks to self-consumption.

Iberdrola, which already manages 40 per cent of the self-consumption installations in Spain, will continue to be a driving force in the coming years for this technology which, in addition to reducing energy bills, protects against potential variations in energy prices and enables the generation of CO2 emission-free energy.

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