February 7 (Renewables Now) - The Spanish region of Andalusia connected to the grid 26 renewable energy power plants in 2019, or 1,112 MW of capacity, the Andalusian Energy Agency said Thursday.
The bulk of the new generation came from large power plants, which accounted for 1,087 MW of the additions. Solar photovoltaic (PV) schemes smaller than 10 MW added roughly 25 MW.
Solar PV connections took off last year, bringing 881 MW of capacity installed across 15 10-MW-plus plants. The enormous interest in solar helped Spain’s southern region more than double its installed PV capacity to 1,799 MW at the end of 2019, according to the regional energy entity.
Six grid-connected wind farms supplied 124 MW, with which Andalusia reached 3,448 MW of wind across 153 facilities.
Finally, one biomass-fired plant of 46 MW and one 34-MW hydropower plant (HPP) rounded up last year’s installations. Andalusia now boasts 17 biomass-based power plants generating 274 MW combined and 650 MW worth of hydro with 93 HPPs in operation.
The Andalusian Energy Agency noted that a little over half of last year’s installed capacity in the region was awarded in the Spanish government’s renewable energy auctions in 2016 and 2017. Specifically, 18 awarded projects resulted in 576 MW of installations, while private initiative pushed the rest.
As of January 2020, the total installed renewables capacity in Andalusia stands at 7,216 MW, up by 18% over the year, the agency said.
The regional government has no intention of stopping there. The energy agency has prepared a detailed study which says the region’s gross renewables potential stands at more than 300,000 MW, and the Andalusian authorities sent that to Madrid. Andalusia is seeking to lead Spain’s energy transition by providing 45% of the new renewables capacity envisaged in the integrated national energy and climate plan (NECP). This would amount to 25,650 MW on top of what is already in operation.