Spain based Iberdola has obtained an environmental permit from the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA) for the construction of a photovoltaic power station in Santiago do Cacém in Portugal. The company claims it will be the largest solar park in Europe and the fifth largest in the world.
The solar park, named after the poet Fernando Pessoa, will become operational in 2025 and will have an installed capacity of 1,200 MW. According to Iberdola, it will be able to generate enough green energy to meet the needs of about 430,000 households, equivalent to a population twice the size of the city of Porto. The installation is also estimated to save 370 million cubic meters of gas per year.
To realize this ambitious project, Iberdola is working with Prosolia energywhile the Portuguese operator REN will be responsible for the grid connection.
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The solar installation aims in particular to increase the sustainability of the local ecosystem. Aside from creating about 2,500 jobs, it aims to provide vocational skills, improve tourism in the area, and provide solar power to nearby communities.
The land where the facility will be built will also serve as a space for grazing sheep and introducing beehives, while native tree species will be planted in the surrounding area.
“This solar park sets a new benchmark in combining Europe’s clean energy ambitions with the delivery of tangible environmental and social benefits. We need to reduce our exposure to fossil fuels,” Iberdrola’s executive chairman, Ignacio Galán, said in a statement. pronunciation. “We are proud to continue and strengthen our commitment to Portugal with new clean infrastructure across the country […]. The cooperation of the Portuguese authorities has also been essential in getting this project to this stage in record time.”
Iberdola plans to invest an additional €3 billion in wind and solar power in Portugal over the next few years, powered by favorable regulations of the country about the use of green energy.
The company has already completed three solar parks in Portugal and will begin construction on three more in 2023, while another will be commissioned in 2024.
If these kinds of initiatives continue across Europe, the EU may come closer the target of producing 320 GW of solar energy by 2025 and nearly 600 GW by 2030.