April 6 (Renewables Now) - The 500-MW Nunez de Balboa solar photovoltaic (PV) park in the Spanish region of Extremadura fed its first megawatt-hour to the grid at noon today, its owner Iberdrola SA (BME:IBE) has announced.
The mega-project, promoted by Iberdrola and local operation and maintenance (O&M) specialist Grupo EcoEnergias del Guadiana SA, required an investment of nearly EUR 300 million (USD 324.1m) to build. The solar complex is located between the municipalities of Usagre, Hinojosa del Valle and Bienvenida in Badajoz province.
The facility needed 1.43 million solar panels, 115 inverters and two substations, while more than 1,200 workers were present at the site at peak construction times, the Spanish utility said.
Nunez de Balboa operates under long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Spanish lender Kutxabank SA, telecommunications company Euskaltel SA and food distributor and supermarket operator Uvesco SA. Its annual output can satisfy the electricity needs of 250,000 people per year.
Iberdrola has more than 1,300 MW of PV projects lined up for construction in Extreamadura by 2022. The company has submitted paperwork for six projects – the 590-MW Francisco Pizarro, the 328-MW Ceclavin, 150-MW Arenales, the 50-MW Majada Alata, the 50-MW San Antonio and the Campo Aranuelo I, II and III of 150 MW in total.
The construction of Campo Aranuelo, which will also feature battery storage, is expected to start shortly, Iberdrola said.
On top of these, the company has grid-access rights to connect 300 MW, which is enough to fit one more PV project, it said.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.08)