Solarcentury, the global integrated solar power company, together with solar and wind operator Encavis AG, has today formally begun construction on its EURO 225m, 300MW Talayuela Solar Project in Cáceres, Extremadura; one of the largest and most powerful subsidy-free solar developments in Spain to date.

The project is expected to deliver direct employment in the region of up to 400 people at its peak, of which at least 100 will be hired from Talayuela, in agreement with the City. Overall, it is expected that the project and corresponding economic revitalisation of the area could result in the creation of more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for the region in total.

According to Solarcentury’s plans, the Talayuela Solar Project (which covers an area of ​​822 hectares; equivalent to 1,644 football fields) includes 320 hectares of protected land designated to protecting and improving the natural environment and local wildlife.

Of this protected land, c.100 hectares will be designated as a Holm Oak protection zone, with Solarcentury committing to the reforestation of 1,600 Holm Oak trees, to ensure that native flora and fauna is respected. The plans also include the installation of three bird lookouts and 35 different shelters for reptiles to encourage the protection of the local wildlife, as well as the development of a Nature Classroom, which will host interactive exhibitions and demonstration training and educational areas for visitors.

Solarcentury will install nearly one million (977,000) solar panels during the course of the project. To minimise the impact of such large-scale installation on the land itself, the panels will be anchored to the ground without the need for concrete foundations.

The plant is expected to be operational in the second half of 2020, capable of powering around 150,000 homes and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 170,000 tonnes per year.

Neil Perry, CFO of Solarcentury said:

“Talayuela Solar is a truly positive milestone for Solarcentury and our industry, clearly demonstrating how solar energy can contribute to a 100% renewable future without the need for government subsidies, at the same time as creating jobs, improving biodiversity and making a real difference in the fight against climate chaos.”

Talayuela Solar has been built without the need for public subsidies thanks to a unique financial Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which ensures that the project receives stable and guaranteed income during the first 10 years of its operation. The project is financially backed by the European Investment Bank and Deutsche Bank.