Spanish utility Iberdrola has commissioned the largest PV plant built in Europe to date – the giant 500MW Nunez de Balboa project in Extremadura in the southwest of the country where construction work was completed in just one year in December 2019.

The €300m ($326m) project, which recently fed its first megawatt-hour of power into the grid, was developed in partnership with contractor Ecoenergias del Guadiana, which carried out engineering and environmental works encompassing installation of 1.43m solar panels, 115 inverters and two substations.

The solar complex, located between the municipalities of Usagre, Hinojosa del Valle and Bienvenida in the province of Badojoz, will generate enough clean energy annually to supply 250,000 people and prevent the release of around 215,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Iberdrola said Nunez de Balboa would be eclipsed in size by 2021 by the 590MW Francisco Pizarro solar plant, also in Extremadura, where construction started around two months ago.

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.

Research from industry body SolarPower Europe forecasts the booming Spanish market might add up to 19.5GW of new PV by 2023.