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Iberdrola plans Europe's largest solar power plant in Spain

The 590MW Francisco Pizarro project would come online in 2022 in booming Spanish PV market

Iberdrola plans to build a 590MW solar plant that will be Europe’s largest, the energy giant said.

The Spanish group is seeking government consent for the €300m ($337m), Francisco Pizarro project on a 1,300-hectare site in Extremadura.

The PV plant, which is due for commissioning in 2022 and according to the developer able to meet the annual power needs of 375,000 people, would outstrip a 500MW project already underway by Iberdrola elsewhere in Spain.

The group is planning to build 3GW of solar and wind in Spain’s resurgent renewable energy market by 2022 – the majority of which will be PV.

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Iberdrola – one of the world’s biggest wind operators and a major backer of offshore development – was until a few years an arch-sceptic concerning solar’s ability to compete with wind.

But that changed in early 2017 when CEO Ignacio Galan declared: “Now solar in certain places is absolutely competitive with other sources. We change our mind on that one.”

News of the giant plant comes as research from industry body SolarPower Europe said the booming Spanish market might add up to 19.5GW of new PV by 2023.

The thriving Spanish solar sector, driven by supportive policies and emerging opportunities for corporate PPAs, is among the top seven PV market prospects globally, SPE added.

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