Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola switches on Europe's largest solar plant

Iberdrola, a Spanish renewable energy giant, has activated Europe's largest solar plant

Renewable energy company Iberdrola has switched on Europe's largest solar power plant. The 590MW Francisco Pizarro PV array is now providing power to the grid in southwestern Spain. The €300m ($307m) solar power project is Iberdrola's largest to date. It will supply some 335,000 homes in the area and avoid CO2 emissions of 150,000 tons a year.

The Francisco Pizarro PV plant, located between the municipalities of Torrecillas de la Tiesta and Aldeacentenera in the Extremadura region, was built based on long-term power purchase agreements with dairy products maker Danone, pharmaceutical conglomerate Bayer, and drinks giant PepsiCo. These contracts provide 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 who are dedicated to clean and sustainable consumption,” said Iberdrola.

Iberdrola has a lot of renewable energy. They are going to spend 14.3 billion Euros on new wind and solar farms by 2025. They are also working on a smart grid program.

According to the developer, Extremadura will play a key role in its Spanish portfolio strategy. Iberdrola expects to install 2.8GW of renewable capacity in the region in the next three years, with an investment of more than €1.7bn. The new PV plant, Francisco Pizarro, is an "example of new renewable developments that respect the environment". The developer has taken measures to protect native animal species living near the plant, including a scheme that allows land to be used for grazing sheep.

The European Union is set to break a record this year for solar capacity. Industry group SolarPower Europe says that around 39 gigawatts of solar power will be installed. This would be more than the 27 gigawatts of solar power installed in 2021 and more than the 29.9 gigawatts expected before Russia invaded Ukraine.

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