Spain’s Extremadura region prepares to host another giant solar plant

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The Department of Energy and Infrastructure for the Spanish southern region of Extremadura has signed a memorandum of understanding with an international consortium formed by Solarcentury, Genia Global Energy and renewable energy company, Canopy Energies for the development of a 300 MW solar power plant in the province of Cáceres.

The facility is set to be located near the municipality of Talayuela, and will be built at a cost of around €300 million. The project will require a surface of about 830 hectares, the construction of a substation, and a 400 kW transmission line to connect it with the local power network.

The project was already submitted for approval to Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism in May. According to Extremadura’s regional government, work on the facility may begin in late 2018, with completion scheduled for 12 months after the start of construction.

Furthermore, the government of Extremadura said the power plant is expected to sell power to the private PPA market.

This represents an interesting development, as typically these large-scale projects under development outside of Spain’s auction scheme are conceived for the spot market.

Meanwhile, the first PPA between a renewable energy producer and a private company was signed in July. It was between Portugal’s EDP and Spanish milk producer, Leche Pascual. EDP will sell power produced by one of its wind power plants in Spain to Leche Pascual under a five-year PPA.

In a recent interview with pv magazine, José Donoso, the president of Madrid-based solar association UNEF, said there is huge potential for PPAs with public entities, such as regional governments or municipalities.

“They are also willing to pay less for the power they consume, and solar and renewables in general are becoming cheaper than other sources. Also private companies are willing to go for PPAs to show that they are committed to using renewable energy and fighting climate change,” Donoso stated.