The 300MW Talayuela solar power project in Extremadura, Spain, will be one of the biggest solar farms in Europe, once completed.

Kompa Solaire Sasu and Genia Global Energy Solutions initially developed the project, while Solarcentury later joined the team following a framework agreement in December 2017.

Encavis, a solar company based in Germany, acquired 80% stake in the project in October 2018, while Solarcentury holds the remaining 20%. Solarcentury will undertake the project maintenance in addition to holding the stake.

Financial closure of the $253m (£194m)-worth Talayuela solar project was achieved in October 2018. The construction of the power plant is expected to be commenced towards the end of 2019, with power transmission to the grid to be achieved by early-2020.

The project is expected to generate 600 million units of electricity a year, which will be sufficient to electrify approximately 150,000 Spanish households.

Talayuela solar power project background

Solarcentury, on behalf of the partners, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Economy and Infrastructure of Extremadura for the solar project development, in December 2017.

The project developers also signed a collaborative agreement with Junta de Extremadura in March 2018, which enabled the commencement of the project development.

Talayuela solar power project location and plant make-up

The solar project will feature CS3U-P KuMax solar modules supplied by Canadian Solar to generate approximately 600 million units of electricity a year.

Each CS3U-P solar module will host a total of 144 polycrystalline-made photovoltaic cells. The polycrystalline cells are expected to minimise power loss between the cell connections, thereby increasing the plant efficiency.

The high-efficiency poly modules have a lower rate of power loss in cell connection, and are capable of achieving high PTC rating of up to 92.64%. They are capable of operating under heavy snow load of up to 5,400Pa and wind load of up to 3,600Pa.

Measuring 78.7inx39.1inx1.38in, the solar module weighs 22.5kg and will be connected with a T4 series connector. The frame of the module will be made up of anodised aluminium alloy along with an enhanced crossbar, while the front cover will be a 3.2mm-tempered glass.

Electricity transmission

A new 21.42km-long, 400kV transmission line will be constructed to transmit the power generated by the Talayuela solar project. A new 30/400kV substation will be constructed at the project site for the same.

Contractors involved

In June 2019, Canadian Solar, a Canada-based solar PV module provider, was awarded the contract for supplying CS3U-P KuMax modules for the Talayuela solar power project.

Solarcentury engaged Voltiq, a company based in Spain, as its financial advisor during the solar power plant acquisition, in 2017.

Renewable energy market in Spain

Spain has a total installed power capacity of approximately 104GW as of 2018. The country is implementing the National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030, which aims to generate 42% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. The set renewable target is 10% more than the standard EU target.

Spain is also working on the Strategic Energy and Climate Framework, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 21% than the 1990 levels.

Another major solar project being developed in Spain is the 590MW Francisco Pizarro project by Iberdrola. Expected to become the biggest PV solar plant in Europe, the project will require an investment of more than €300m ($337m).

Other prominent projects in Spain include Solarcentury’s  Cerrado Cabrera, El primo Aleman, Hazas de los sesenta, and Los Gonzalez solar farms, and Enel’s Baylio, Dehesa de los Guadalupes, and Furatena power plants.