Enel breaks ground on 127 MW solar PV in Spain

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Enel Green Power España has broken ground on the construction of three solar PV parks in Spain. According to a statement released, the three plants are located in Navalvillar, Valdecaballero and Castilblanco in the municipalities Casas de Don Pedro and Talarrubias, in Extremadura.

With each of the three PV farms being slightly larger than 42 MW, the utility says cumulative capacity is around 127 MW. Reportedly, overall investment costs are approximately €100 million. Enel has been developing a portfolio of solar parks in the 40 MW range in southern Spain this year.

“These three projects further strengthen our presence in Spain, where we have started construction of ten new renewable projects over the last two months,” said Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel’s Global Renewable Energy business line, Enel Green Power (“EGP”).

Enel further highlights that it is using its ‘Sustainable Construction Site’ model, for the construction of the solar plants. As such, the company will power operations through a 20 kW PV system, as well as running initiatives aimed at involving the local population in the construction phase.

Reportedly, Enel will make use of drone-based topographic surveys, and a range of advanced digital platforms and software solutions to monitor construction progress and remotely support site activities.

“In addition to actively expanding the company’s presence in the country, our aim is to continue promoting innovation by applying cutting-edge technologies based on digitalization and robotization, as well as sustainability by implementing best practices already in place in our construction sites worldwide,” continued the statement.

The three sites are part of a broader seven solar parks portfolio that Enel was awarded in Spain through the government’s third renewable energy auction, held in July 2017. Construction on the remaining four solar plants in Murcia, Extremadura and Logrosán already started in September and October, respectively.

Spain’s solar market is experiencing a revival after a long hiatus. The country’s new government scrapped the unpopular “solar tax,” while the use of private PPAs could see Spain reclaim its position as Europe’s largest solar market next year. A number of unsubsidized solar plants has created an additional buzz in the sector.

“Already this year we may see the first unsubsidized solar parks being connected to the grid, as a result of continuing activity in the private PPA segment,” José Donoso, president of Spanish solar association UNEF, told pv magazine at this year’s Genera renewable energy fair in Madrid.

Meanwhile German IPP BayWa r.e. announced to move towards the finalization of its 175 MW grid-parity project near Sevilla. Already nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 modules have been installed. The company reports that the site team installs 10,000 modules a day, in a bid to complete construction before the end of the year.