Iberdrola has begun the commissioning phase of the Francisco Pizarro project in Extremadura, Spain. Located between the municipalities of Torrecillas de la Tiesta and Aldeacentenera (Cáceres), the plant has an installed capacity of 590 MW.
Francisco Pizarro plant is made up of nearly 1.5 million photovoltaic (PV) modules that will generate enough clean energy to supply more than 334 000 homes – more than the populations of Badajoz, Cáceres, Plasencia, and Don Benito, Spain combined – and will prevent the emission of 150 000 tpy of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The project, which has required an investment of more than €300 million, created more than 1500 jobs during peak construction periods, 60% of which filled by local workers.
Iberdrola has guaranteed the project’s feasibility through long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with leading companies in different sectors and will supply 100% renewable electricity to Danone, Bayer, and PepsiCo to cover the energy needs of their factories in Spain.
These contracts provide stability to investments and have become an optimal tool for managing the electricity supply of large customers committed to accelerating the energy transition to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and who are dedicated to clean and sustainable consumption.
Protecting the environment and cultural heritage
The Francisco Pizarro PV plant is an example of new renewable developments that respect the environment and cultural heritage. During the execution of the project, Iberdrola states that it has guaranteed at all times the preservation of the natural environment and the archaeological remains discovered during the project’s siting.
The exploration work revealed 20 rock formations with engravings and pictographs, mainly prehistoric art, and three archaeological sites dating from the ancient and medieval periods.
After the discovery, the company carried out all the necessary measures for the monitoring, excavation, and safeguarding of the remains.
Regarding environmental protection, specific measures were taken to improve forest wildlife habitats, including a controlled reproduction centre for rabbit breeding, the installation of nesting boxes and the creation of bird feeding protection zones. In addition, Iberdrola has contributed to the monitoring campaign of grassland birds in Extremadura run by the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife), identifying and protecting a breeding area for these birds, specifically the common bustard.
Also, the plant operates an environmental integration plan that allows the land to be used as grazing for sheep husbandry in the area.
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