Iberdrola, the Spanish electric utility company, has obtained an environmental approval to hybridise an existing hydroelectric plant with a new 86.4 MWp solar farm at a site in the region of Extremadura, Western Spain.
Named HIDRO Cedillo, the project will be Iberdrola’s first move to involve a solar-hydro hybrid in Spain as it finalizes work on what is said to be Spain’s first wind and solar hybrid. The project is located in the municipality of Cedillo, bordering Portugal, where Iberdrola has one 375 MWp solar farm and two 50 MW solar farms in operation.
The Extremadura farm will be equipped with 160,000 photovoltaic panels mounted on fixed structures with a capacity of 86.4 Megawatts (MW). According to Iberdrola, hydrolisation allows optimizing the use of the grid and minimizing the environmental impact of projects.
The utility calls Extremadura one of its growth regions in Spain, where it has close to 5,200 MW of installed generation capacity, with renewable hydro, solar and batteries making up 4,100 MW of the total.
The HIDRO Cedillo solar project objectives are all framed within the promotion of the improvement of biodiversity in the surroundings with a series of measures for the protection of the environment. In that regard two new water points will be constructed to enable availability of water in the different sectors of the solar plant. Exclusion zones that protect the ponds, unique vegetation, trees, habitats of interest around the large pond in the area and the river courses will be marked.
There will be a watchman to monitor and provide supplementary feeding for birdlife in the surrounding area to encourage the possible nesting and roosting of medium and large birds of prey in the surrounding of the solar photovoltaic plant.
Iberdrola’s fundamental pillar on which it has built its clean, reliable and competitive business model started over two decades ago with a commitment to renewable energies. Following this vision, Iberdrola has become a leading renewable energy company with more than 21,000 MW of renewable energy capacity installed in Spain, with plans to install more than 7,600 MW in the coming four years. This will accelerate Spain’s electrification and contribute to reducing its dependence on foreign countries.