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Can High Electricity Prices be Alleviated? Spain's Largest Solar Plant Connected to Grid

published: 2022-08-26 9:30

In order to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels for power supply, Spain has gradually increased its amount of renewable energy installations. Now Spain has opened the largest solar power plant in Europe "Francisco Pizarro."

As the Russo-Ukrainian war continues, relations between Russia and Europe continues to stalemate and, after Russia reduced its natural gas exports to Europe, it naturally pushed up European fuel costs. The Spanish electricity transaction price was almost three times higher than the five-year seasonal average. One of the most sunlit countries, Spain's good helper for power supply is solar energy. In addition to alleviating electricity price fluctuations, expanding the amount of solar energy installations can also help keep up with global trends and carry out energy transformation.

Now Spain and Europe’s largest solar power plant in Europe is about to go into operation. The Francisco Pizarro power plant in Iberdrola is located in Extremadura, with a capacity of about 590MW and a cost of 300 million euros. It is composed of 1.5 million solar panels and can supply electricity over 334,000 households per year, reducing carbon emissions by 150,000 tons per year. The power plant is currently connected to the grid and will gradually increase the amount of grid connection in the next four weeks until it is fully connected.

The hope is that the solar farm will ease high electricity prices slightly but BloombergNEF analyst Kesavarthiniy Savarimuthu thinks it's unlikely. Iberdrola has signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with companies including Danone, Bayer, and PepsiCo to avoid market disruptions to power plant revenue.

However, if Spain continues to scale up renewables to meet its 2030 target, electricity prices will fall, Savarimuthu said. Spain's current goal is to generate three-quarters of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the century.

As the largest solar power plant in Europe, Francisco Pizarro also faces many social and environmental problems. In particular, about 20 rock formations with petroglyphs were discovered during construction, mainly from prehistoric times and 3 sites dating back to ancient and medieval times. Naturally, they were well protected and excavated for research. In terms of environmental protection, a rabbit breeding control center was established, nest boxes were installed, and bird breeding reserves were constructed.


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