The largest photovoltaic plant in Europe, located on Extremadura soil, starts producing clean energy


Francisco Pizarro’s factory, between Aldeacentenera and Torrecillas de la Tiesa, will sell its production to multinationals such as Danone, Pepsico and Bayer

The largest photovoltaic installation in Europe is starting to produce clean energy. It stands on Extremadura ground and is called Francisco Pizarro. As announced TODAY, the start-up of the mega-solar power plant was imminent and would most likely take place in the middle of the summer. Iberdrola, the promoter, has just confirmed that it is already active.

The Francisco Pizarro photovoltaic installation is located between the municipalities of Torrecillas de la Tiesta and Aldeacentenera, in the Cáceres region. It has 590 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity. Until now, the one with the greatest power was another from Extremadura, the Núñez de Balboa, between Usagre and Hinojosa del Valle, with 500 MW.

The plant in the Trujillo region consists of nearly 1.5 million photovoltaic modules that will generate enough clean energy to power more than 334,000 homes – more than the cities of Badajoz, Cáceres, Plasencia and Don Benito combined – and will reduce emissions to the atmosphere of 150,000 tons of CO 2 per year.

The project, which involves an investment of more than 300 million euros, has created more than 1,500 jobs during peak construction periods, 60% of which are local workers, the energy multinational said. In November 2020, it passed an Environmental Impact Assessment (DIA) which is particularly demanding because this project is of great importance.

Iberdrola will supply 100% renewable electricity from this Extremadura plant to companies such as Danone, Bayer and PepsiCo to cover the energy needs of their centers in Spain.

As this newspaper has also reported in recent months, changes have been made to the project in the development of the photovoltaic mega-installation. On the one hand, because remains have appeared, archaeological sites. In particular, about twenty rock outcroppings with manifestations of cave art, fundamentally prehistoric, and three archaeological sites were found between antiquity and the Middle Ages. After the find, the necessary measures were taken for the control, excavation and security, by the company, of these remains, specifies Iberdrola.

On the other hand, because the location of solar panels has changed to preserve the habitat of the lesser bustard, an endangered bird. Similarly, specific measures were taken “to improve forest fauna habitats”, such as the establishment of a controlled reproduction center for the breeding of rabbits, the installation of nest boxes or the establishment of protection areas for bird feeding.

In addition, the photovoltaic plant has an environmental integration plan that allows the use of the land as pasture for sheep farming in the area.

Source: La Verdad


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