Extremadura: the region with the largest solar power plants in Europe, Francisco Pizarro and Núñez de Balboa

Extremadura is the autonomous community that generates the second highest amount of clean and renewable energy in Iberdrola España. The dozens of plants we have built have brought into operation around 4,507 MW of green electricity, more than half of which corresponds to energy generated through solar radiation. Solar energy, a completely renewable, inexhaustible and non-polluting energy source, is one of Iberdrola Spain's major commitments as part of its commitment to sustainable development.

Francisco Pizarro photovoltaic plant

Solar power plants in Extremadura

Number of solar power plants 13
Total installed capacity 2.426 MW
Number of household benefited 1.230.500
Year of first installation 2020

As one of the sunniest regions in Spain and Europe, Extremadura is also the region with the largest number of Iberdrola España solar plants. In total, there are thirteen installations -twelve in Cáceres and one in Badajoz- which, with 2,461 MW of capacity, cover the needs of approximately 1,230,500 homes. Iberdrola España's commitment to Extremadura, with the revitalisation of its industrial fabric, the creation of cutting-edge projects and the generation of green jobs, has been reaffirmed over the years: not only is it the region with the most solar power plants, but in 2022 it also became the region with the largest solar plant in Europe, the Francisco Pizarro plant, closely followed by another of Iberdrola España's large plants, the Núñez de Balboa plant.

Solar plants in Cáceres

With twelve solar plants totalling an installed capacity of approximately 1,961 MW, Cáceres is by far the leading Spanish province in electricity generation through solar radiation at Iberdrola España. By taking advantage of this natural energy source, we are investing in a traditionally under-exploited province, but which is becoming a key player in the energy transition towards the use of cleaner sources. Its regions include the largest solar plant in Europe, the first solar community for an entire village, three large photovoltaic complexes and other facilities that, together, are already benefiting around 980.500 Spanish families.

Campo Arañuelo solar plants I, II and III

The Campo Arañuelo I, II and III photovoltaic plants are part of a single complex that extends across the Cáceres region of the same name. Together, they have an installed capacity of approximately 140 MW: the first two have a capacity of 50 MW, while the last one has a capacity of 40 MW. The Campo Arañuelo III solar plant also has the particularity of being the first photovoltaic project in Spain to incorporate an energy storage battery, i.e. a battery in this case with 3 MW of power and 9 MWh of storage capacity.

Iberdrola España has allocated a total of €80 million to the installation of this photovoltaic complex, which has contributed to creating new jobs in the region, one of the company's major commitments. Its construction has involved 500 professionals and almost all of the field and civil works have been carried out by local companies.

In addition to boosting the local economy, the Campo Arañuelo complex has also contributed to the transition towards a more sustainable energy model: it already generates clean energy to supply approximately 70,000 homes per year and avoids the emission of 41,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.

Ceclavín solar plant

Located between Alcántara and the municipality that gives it its name, the Ceclavín plant was the third that Iberdrola España has started up in the region and forms part of a sustainable project in partnership with Orange. Through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA), Iberdrola España undertook to supply green energy for a period of twelve years to the 9,000 supply points of the telecommunications operator's own network.

This plant in Cáceres, operational since 2021, has a total installed capacity of 330 MW and is capable of supplying energy to a population equivalent to 165,000 homes. By converting solar radiation into energy, the Ceclavín plant avoids the emission into the atmosphere of 110,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

With an investment of approximately €250 million, the facility also meant an important boost for local employment, especially during its construction: more than 1,140 people came to work there, of whom nearly 60% were from Extremadura.

Almaraz solar plants I and II

Also in Cáceres and in the region of Campo Arañuelo, there is a second photovoltaic complex made up of two plants: Almaraz I and II. These are two photovoltaic plants which, with an installed capacity of 50 MW and 30 MW, respectively, are already covering the needs of 40,000 families.

With its construction, we are once again placing the region of Extremadura at the centre of our strategy to achieve the energy transition. In addition, we are contributing to the creation of more than 300 local jobs.

Majada Alta and San Antonio solar plants, in Cedillo

The construction of the Majada Alta and San Antonio plants, both in the municipality of Cedillo, involved the commissioning of 100 new green MW capable of powering 50,000 homes. The total of 250,000 panels they have together produce 156,000 MWh of electricity per year, an amount that would have required more than 26 million cubic metres of gas to be generated by a combined cycle.

With the installation of these plants in the province of Cáceres, Iberdrola España not only reinforced its commitment to the environment - the plants prevent the emission into the atmosphere of 28,000 tonnes of CO2 per year - but also demonstrated its respect for the country's historical and cultural heritage. During its construction, a dolmen between 3,500 and 4,000 years old and a pre-Romanesque necropolis with 32 tombs dating from the 5th century were discovered. After the cataloguing and documentation work, the two archaeological finds were made available to the Government of Extremadura. A funerary stele was also discovered and transferred to the Provincial Museum of Cáceres.

Iberdrola España's commitment to the development of the town of Cedillo has also been absolute. Not only has it contributed to the creation of 300 green jobs with the construction of these two facilities, but it has also turned Cedillo into Spain's first solar community for an entire village. Through the installation of small solar plants on the roofs of seven municipal buildings and on land provided by the town council, Iberdrola España has been able to supply electricity to an entire town. Thanks to this initiative, whose investment has been fully assumed by the company, the inhabitants of the municipality can enjoy a 50% saving on their electricity bill.

Francisco Pizarro solar plant

With 590 MW of installed capacity, the Francisco Pizarro photovoltaic plant has become the largest in Europe since its construction in 2022. It has the capacity to supply energy to 295,000 homes and thus avoids the emission of 150,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. It involved an investment of more than €300 million for Iberdrola España and is the largest photovoltaic plant we have built in the world to date. It covers 1,300 hectares - eleven times the size of Madrid's Retiro Park - between the Cáceres municipalities of Torrecillas de la Tiesa and Aldeacentenera.

The construction of the plant has also become a very important project to boost the industrial fabric and local employment: it has created green jobs for more than 1,500 people during peak periods, 60% of which have been filled by workers from the province.

Archaeological remains were also found during the construction of this facility, the discovery of which was immediately reported to the local authorities.

Cedillo solar plant

The Cedillo photovoltaic plant, Iberdrola España's most recent project in the town of the same name in Cáceres, has an installed capacity of 375 MW, enough to supply 178,000 homes with clean energy, more than the population of Badajoz. Its operation reduces CO2 emissions by 77,000 tonnes per year.

It is estimated that the plant, with more than 576,000 bifacial photovoltaic panels, can generate up to 582,456 MWh of green energy annually. Construction has involved local suppliers, boosting employment in the area. The energy produced will be distributed via an encapsulated substation that also serves two other photovoltaic installations in Cedillo, with a combined capacity of 100 MW, and a hydroelectric plant of almost 500 MW in the same municipality.

Arenales solar plant

The Arenales photovoltaic plant, the first we have installed in the province, has an installed capacity of 150 MW and is capable of supplying renewable energy to around 75,000 homes. With its 391,580 modules, the facility avoids discharging 38,500 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.

In addition to contributing to more sustainable energy use, the PV plant has created new local jobs. During peak periods, it has needed up to 430 employees. During the construction of the installation, these employees came from the company Ilunion and the special employment centre La Hormiga Verde, which helps people with disabilities to find work in cutting-edge projects such as this one.

Tagus solar plants I, II, III and IV

Located in the Cáceres municipality of Alcántara, the complex, comprising the Tagus I, II, III and IV photovoltaic plants, has a total installed capacity of 200 MW, capable of supplying clean energy to some 100,000 families and avoiding the emission of more than 43,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Iberdrola España invested €120 million in the installation of this complex, which again contributed to the creation of green jobs in the region: its construction required the involvement of more than 600 professionals at peak times.

Solar power plants in Badajoz

Our only solar plant in the province of Badajoz is also one of the largest in Europe. The province enjoys a great quantity of sunshine per year, which we at Iberdrola España have not hesitated to take advantage of to generate clean energy that contributes to sustainable development.

Núñez de Balboa solar plant

With an installed capacity of 500 MW, the Núñez de Balboa photovoltaic plant supplies clean energy to 250,000 homes, thus avoiding the emission of 215,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Located in the municipality of Usagre, the plant covers an area of approximately 1,000 hectares and produces around 832 GWh per year thanks to its 1,430,000 photovoltaic panels.

During its construction, the plant has generated a total of 1,200 jobs, 70% of which have been filled by workers from Extremadura. The total investment amounted to €290 million, which once again reaffirms Iberdrola España's commitment to Extremadura, a benchmark region in renewable energies.

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