Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer


From pv magazine Spain

Spanish independent power producer Soto Solar España is developing the largest photovoltaic park in Spain, with 1,000 MW of installed power. The company plans to link the huge facility, known as Erasmo, to energy storage and green hydrogen production.

According to its developer, the project has already secured the necessary land for its construction and will be located in the municipality of Saceruela, near Ciudad Real, in the southern part of the country

The storage facility will have a capacity of 80 MW and rely on lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries, a company spokesperson told pv magazine.

It will consist of 20 storage systems with a capacity of 4 MW, which the company said are capable of providing the power-frequency reserve. In addition, Soto Solar has signed a strategic agreement with Spanish gas provider Enagás to set up green hydrogen production through an on-site hydrogen plant that will use part of the energy generated by the Erasmo project.

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Soto Solar also told pv magazine that it expects to reach an installed electrolysis power of about 100 MW, the largest associated with a project in Spain. In this regard, the company is working with the National Hydrogen Center (CNH2) to enable the use of hydrogen for the production of methanol, direct sales to industries, injection to the natural gas network, and use in fuel cell electric vehicles. This collaboration will also explore various options for the use of hydrogen.

The solar plant could start production in 2023 or 2024 and will have a generation capacity of more than 2,000 GWh/year that would be equivalent to the annual consumption of more than 200,000 households, up to 3% of Spain's 2030 national renewable generation target.

The project also participated in two Expressions of Interest published by MITECO in February 2021 and December 2020, respectively, which will facilitate the allocation of EU recovery funds towards the energy transition. Soto Solar has been developing the project since 2019 and “has already completed elaborate technical and environmental studies that certify the good state of progress,” the company told pv magazine. It added that “given the magnitude of the project, respect for biodiversity will be prioritized by following the best practices and complementary measures for environmental improvement, including the implementation of circular economy actions.”

Soto Solar, a company founded by Stecc and Hartenlust Solar based in Madrid, became operational at the end of 2018. In 2019, it sold a 50% stake in its business for more than 100 million euros to a group of international investors, which will allow Soto Solar to achieve its main objective for the next five years: the installation of a total photovoltaic solar capacity of 2 GW.

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