Solar is regaining speed in Spain after the Covid-19 crisis. Iberdrola is now building 150 MW, while Foresight recently acquired a 26.1 MW project. FRV has secured financing for a 136 MW array, Audax plans to issue green bonds to finance its pipeline, and an 800 MW solar park is expected to provide with power Alcoa’s aluminum plant in Galicia.
PV deployment has surged in Spain in recent weeks, with a number of unsubsidized large-scale projects now in development, after the market segment screeched to a halt due to the pandemic.
This week alone, several more unsubsidized projects were announced, with construction also beginning on a number of sizable solar facilities. pv magazine has summarized the latest big developments.
Iberdrola plans 150 MW
The Spanish utility has started building three 50 MW PV plants in central Spain. The Barcience project is being built in Cuenca, while the Romeral facility will be constructed in the municipality of Alarcón. The third project, Olmedilla, will be installed in the Olmedilla de Alarcón region. In addition, Iberdrola has submitted a 100 MW solar project for approval in Ciudad Real. The plant will be part of a €150 million green hydrogen project that will also include storage. Iberdrola currently has 7.5 GW of renewable energy capacity under construction in Spain.
U.K.-based investment company Foresight Group LLP has acquired a 26.1 MW solar project near Huelva, in the southern region of Andalucia, from IM2 Energía Solar for an undisclosed sum. Construction will begin immediately and the project is expected to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2021. Once completed it will generate around 50 GWh of clean electricity each year. Designed with single-axis trackers, the project has secured a 10-year power purchase agreement with Shell Energy Europe, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell.
FRV finances 138 MW
Spain-based solar developers Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a unit of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and French bank Natixis have closed financing on the 138 MW San Serván project. FRV plans to build it in the town of Solana de los Barros, Extremadura. The deal is the first transaction certified by the Climate Bond in Spain, and includes a €64 million loan in which Natixis is acting as underwriter and sole coordinator. FRV has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Engie Spain on the project, the exact amount and duration of which are not yet known. The project is expected to be fully operational by 2022. Once operational, the San Serván plant will generate approximately 291 GWh of clean energy per year.
Alcoa goes solar
Liberty, a unit of U.K.-based industrial group GFG Alliance, is currently in talks with Alcoa to buy an aluminum plant that the U.S. group owns in San Ciprián, in the northern Spanish region of Galicia. It met with the factory workers’ representatives this week to discuss the potential closure of the plant. Liberty explained its plans to make San Ciprián profitable, as it has already accumulated €175 million in losses. If the month-long negotiations move forward, Liberty aims to ensure that the factory supplies electricity below market prices. It expects to do this through power purchase agreements for a 400 MW wind farm and an 800 MW solar park located at a nearby site. The company has until Sept. 28 to wrap up the acquisition of the factory, with the purchase price set at €1.