Spain-based multinational power company Iberdrola has put into operation the largest solar plant in Europe, with an installed capacity of 590 MW, in an investment exceeding EUR 300 million. The Francisco Pizarro photovoltaic plant is located in the western Spanish region of Extremadura.
Iberdrola said the plant has 1.5 million solar modules, and will generate enough electricity to supply more than 334,000 homes. Its operation will prevent the emission of 150,000 tons of CO2 a year.
Electricity will be sold through PPAs to major multinational corporations
The plant’s output will be sold through long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with leading companies in different sectors – Danone, Bayer and PepsiCo – to cover the energy needs of their centers in Spain, Iberdrola said.
Iberdrola plans to boost its renewable energy capacities worldwide to 25 GW
Iberdrola, which has a total installed capacity of more than 19.3 GW and plans to boost it to 25 GW in the coming years, said the Extremadura plant is its biggest photovoltaic facility in the world.
Before Iberdrola’s facility was put into operation, Europe’s biggest operating solar power plant was the 500 MW Núñez de Balboa, also in Spain.
Spain also has the largest photovoltaic complex in Europe, with 15 power plants of 50 MW each, making up a total of 750 MW of installed capacity. The complex spans 3,100 hectares in the region of Aragon.
Europe is set to see more major solar power facilities
Earlier this week, Greek PPC Renewables invited bids from contractors to build a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 550 MW, the biggest in Greece.
In Serbia, Fintel Energia and MK Group are developing a 660 MW agrisolar project, which will combine crop production with electricity generation, and in Croatia, El Sun Energy plans to build a 950 MW solar power plant.
In France, a 1 GW solar power project is under way, while a power plant with 3,5 million solar panels and a nameplate capacity of 1.35 GW is being installed in Turkey’s Konya province, south of Ankara.