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The largest solar farm in Europe will be located in Portugal

Iberdola, of Spain, has been granted an environmental permit by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) to construct a solar facility near Santiago do Cacém, Portugal. According to the developers, it will be the largest solar farm in Europe and the sixth largest in the world.

The solar farm, which will begin producing power in 2025 and be named after the poet Fernando Pessoa, will have an installed capacity of 1,200MW. It will be able to produce enough green energy to meet the demands of around 430,000 residences, as stated by Iberdola. This is about similar to double the population of Porto. As a bonus, the plant is expected to reduce annual gas usage by 370 million cubic metres.

Iberdola and Prosolia Energy are collaborating on this massive undertaking, while the Portuguese operator REN will handle grid connectivity.

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The solar power plant is designed to increase the longevity of the surrounding ecology. In addition to creating over 2,500 employment, the project’s goals include supplying solar energy to neighbouring villages, boosting tourism, and providing vocational skills training.

Trees native to the region will be planted around the facility, and the land will be used for sheep grazing and the introduction of beehives.

Solar panels at the Nez de Balboa factory in Portugal, owned by Iberdola. Thank you, Iberdola

When considering Europe’s clean energy goals and the delivery of environmental and social benefits, this solar farm represents a new standard. The Executive Chairman of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán, recently issued a statement emphasising the need to minimise the company’s reliance on fossil fuels. We are pleased to reaffirm and expand our support for Portugal by investing in sustainable energy projects all around the nation. The assistance of the Portuguese government has been crucial to the rapid development of this initiative.

Due to Portugal’s supportive policies toward the development of renewable energy, Iberdola aims to spend a further €3 billion in wind and solar power over the next several years.

Three solar farms have already been built and put into operation by the firm in Portugal, with another two under development and set to go live in 2023 and 2024 respectively.

If similar efforts are pursued in other parts of Europe, the European Union may be able to achieve its goal of generating 320 GW of solar electricity by 2025 and over 600 GW by 2030.