Iberdrola España has obtained environmental approval for Spain's first hybrid PV-hydroelectric plant.
The Hidro Cedillo project, located in the community of Extremadura, will have a capacity of 86.4 MW, employing more than 160,000 PV modules and a fixed structure.
“Hybridization allows optimizing the use of the grid and minimizing the environmental impact of projects in the locations where they are located,” Iberdrola stated. “By having two technologies capable of alternating, dependence on changing environmental conditions and limitations due to possible lack of resources such as wind or sunshine is significantly reduced, facilitating more stable and efficient renewable production.”
The company, which recently announced that it would also build Spain's first hybrid wind-solar plant in Burgos, plans further investments in this technology in the coming years with the aim of improving Spain's renewable resources and making the most of existing locations.
Hybrid generation plants use the same grid connection point and share infrastructures, such as the substation and the evacuation line for the electricity produced. In addition, they are located on land that is already in use for renewable generation and allows for common roads and facilities for the operation of both technologies. “All of this results in a much lower environmental impact than two independent plants, which reinforces Iberdrola España's innovative and renewable leadership in Spain,” the company noted.
The project will also undertake a series of measures aimed at protecting the environment and improving biodiversity in the surrounding area. These include two additional pools or water points that will be built to facilitate the availability of water in the different sections of the plant. The construction of a watering trough for livestock and a system of naturalized ponds for surrounding wildlife are also envisaged. The company likewise plans to mark the exclusion zones that protect river courses, ponds, unique vegetation, trees and habitats of interest around the large pond in the area. It has also outlined a number of measures to protect reptiles, amphibians, birds and bats.
Extremadura has become one of Iberdrola's growth regions in Spain, with nearly 5.2 GW installed, 4.1 of which are renewable, including hydroelectric, solar and battery stations. The company's solar PV activities in the region include the Cedillo (375 MW), Majada Alta (50 MW), San Antonio (50 MW) and Almaraz I and II plants (80 MW).
In Cedillo, Iberdrola has established the first solar community for an entire village, which provides residents and traders who are members of the solar community with savings of 50% of their consumption through a self-consumption system. This solar community has just been recognized as the best sustainability initiative in Europe with SolarPower Europe's Solar Sustainability Award 2023, presented in Brussels in early December.
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