Europe’s Largest Solar Farm Completed

Iberdrola Núñez de Balboa solar farm

Spain’s Iberdrola has announced completion of construction of the 500MW Núñez de Balboa solar farm project in the country’s western region of Extremadura.

Comprised of 1,430,000 solar panels, 115 central inverters and two substations, start-up and energising tests have begun and Iberdrola says commercial energy production should commence in the first quarter of 2020.

The Núñez de Balboa project covers an area of nearly 1,000 hectares and will produce an estimated 832 GWh of clean electricity annually, while avoiding avoid 215,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. The facility will supply electricity to clients in banking, telecommunications and retail sectors under power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Iberdrola states it completed construction of the massive solar power station in record time – just 12 months.

More Iberdrola Renewables For Spain

The company has bigger plans for Spain, with the installation of another 3,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and Extremadura at the centre of its strategy. Another 2,000 megawatts of solar and wind power have been planned for Extremadura, with 1,700MW of that total already under construction or awaiting administrative sign-off.

Iberdrola Sets Its Sights On Australia

Beyond Spain, Iberdrola has projects in countries including the USA, UK, Brazil, and Mexico and supplies energy to over 100 million people where it operates, under its own brand or subsidiaries.

The company says it has invested more than USD $100 billion in new renewable energy, smart grids and storage since 2001 and intends ploughing more than $10 billion per year into these activities for the foreseeable future.

Among its future activity are projects in Australia; with the company kicking off here with investment in a 320-megawatt hybrid wind and solar plant in South Australia. According to The Guardian, the project is DP Energy’s Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park; construction of which is to start next year, with view to completion in 2021. The project site is the coastal plain south-east of Port Augusta.

The company is reportedly initially planning for 650MW of wind and solar investments in South Australia and Queensland.

Iberdrola was formed in 1992 as the result of a merger between Hidroeléctrica Española (established 1907) and Iberduero (established 1944).

As at the end of September this year, Iberdrola Group’s installed energy generation capacity totaled more than 50,100 MW. Of that, 62% was renewables (wind and solar energy), 27% combined-cycle gas plants, 6% nuclear power, 3% cogeneration and 2% coal power.

In March 2017, the company committed to attaining carbon neutrality globally by 2050.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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