Spain’s First Auction Project Online As A New 300 MW Power Supply Deal Is Signed

- Sep 18, 2019-

Enel Green Power has plugged in the 85 MW Totana solar plant, the first project to come online from the renewables auction held by the Spanish government in July 2017. Elsewhere, Solarcentury and Encavis announced their 300 MW Talayuela project has secured a 10-year power purchase agreement.

Endesa’s renewable energy arm, Enel Green Power Spain, has connected the 85 MW, €59 million Totana PV plant to the grid. The project is the first to begin operation from the 3.9 GW of solar project generation capacity allocated by the Spanish government in an auction in July 2017.

Endesa secured seven solar projects in the tender, with a combined capacity of 339 MW – the auction’s third largest share after Cobra, a unit of Spanish industrial group ACS, with 1.55 GW of generation capacity; and X-Elio, with 455 MW.

The PV plant, near the town of Totana in the Murcia region, was built with 248,000 modules and can generate approximately 150 GWh per year. The construction of the Totana solar park was based on Enel Green Power Spain’s “sustainable construction site” model, which uses solar energy during construction and involves the local population in development of the project through various initiatives.

Endesa CEO José Bogas said the park was built in record time ahead of its planned commercial operation date at the end of this year. The company announced the beginning of the works last September.

Subsidy free power deal

In a separate development, U.K. solar developer Solarcentury and German investment firm Encavis AG (formerly Chorus Clean Energy) announced the signing of a 10-year power purchase agreement for the Talayuela Solar plant, without specifying the energy off-taker or providing financial details.

The 300 MW project is in Cerro Verde, near the municipality of Cáceres in the southern region of Extremadura. Developed at an estimated cost of €225-280 million, according to information provided by the companies at the end of last year, the Talayuela plant is being built without subsidy and will sell energy on the free market.

Solarcentury announced today: “The swap that has been signed is a financial instrument which hedges the off-take price for approximately 75% of the volume of production, ensuring both a secured, stable income for the first 10 years of operation and the bankability of the project.” The developer said the buyer of the energy is a leading international energy company active in more than 40 countries.

Construction soon

In October, 80% of the plant was sold to Encavis AG and Solarcentury retained a 20% stake. At the time, Encavis said the plant could generate around €25 million per year.

Construction was originally planned for last year but is now expected to start in the fall, with the owners stating permitting is under way. Grid connection is planned is the second half of next year.

Chinese-Canadian panel manufacturer Canadian Solar will provide Solarcentury with its 144-cell polycrystalline CS3U-P KuMax modules for the project. The plant was designated a strategic project by the Extremadura government, helping accelerate its development. The Spanish Ministry of the Ecological Transition granted final approval for the project in August 2018.