Núñez de Balboa: The largest solar power plant under construction in Europe

Núñez de Balboa

Iberdrola is building the Núñez de Balboa solar power plant in Extremadura after signing a green financing deal with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO, Official Credit Institute).

The facility covers a surface of nearly 1,000 hectares and will have a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW); which makes it the largest solar power plant under construction in Europe.

This power plant will supply clean energy to 250,000 people, which is more than the populations of Caceres and Badajoz. It will prevent the emission of 215,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.

290 million euros

The green financing agreement was signed by EIB Vice President Emma Navarro; the President of the ICO Carlos García de Quevedo, and Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán.

In detail, the EU bank will provide €145 million, while the Spanish public entity will supply another €140 million for this new renewable power project; for a total investment of €290 million.

Núñez de Balboa is located between the municipalities of Usagre, Hinojosa del Valle, and Bienvenida. It is expected to be commissioned in 2020 and its construction phase will create more than 1,000 jobs.

Additionally, the project also includes the development of all the infrastructure needed to transport the energy generated to the electricity grid.

Financing energy efficiency

At the signing, Emma Navarro said “we are delighted to support a project that will reinforce Spanish and European leadership in the transition to a low-emissions economy. Our participation evidences the EIB’s strong commitment to environmental action.”

Meanwhile, the President of the ICO Jose Carlos García de Quevedo assured that the operation “strengthens the support to financing investments in energy efficiency or that encourage energy production from renewable and non-polluting sources.”

Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán stressed that “with this new deal we secure our investment in Núñez de Balboa and continue to move forward with the goal to triple our wind and solar capacity in Spain by 2030.”

The crusade against climate change

As the largest multilateral financer in the global fight against climate change, the EIB aims to earmark at least 25% of its investments for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change, supporting low-carbon growth with climate resilience.

The European Investment Bank is the biggest green bond issuer and pioneered the first green bond in this market.

It is the European Union long-term financing institution in which the shareholders are the EU member states. The bank facilitates long-term financing for viable investment projects to achieve the goals set in the EU policy.

El BEI es la institución de financiación a largo plazo de la Unión Europea cuyos accionistas son sus Estados miembros. El BEI facilita financiación a largo plazo a proyectos de inversión viables con el fin de contribuir al logro de los objetivos de la política de la UE.

Promoting sustainable growth

Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) is a public business entity subject to the Spanish government’s Ministry of Economy and Business. The ICO has become a benchmark in terms of financing both SMEs and large investment projects.

It contributes to sustainable growth by promoting economic activities that, due to their social, cultural, innovative, and ecological importance, deserve to be promoted and developed.

In this sense, one of the highlights is the issuance of the ICO’s first green bonds for a value of $500 million. This amount will be earmarked for financing Spanish companies’ activities, investments, and projects that contribute to environmental protection and the fight against climate change.

Leading the energy sector  

Ibredrola is leading the energy transition toward a sustainable model through investments in renewable energies, smart grids, large-scale energy storing, and digital transformation to offer the most advanced products and services for its customers.

The company has become the biggest green bond issuer in the world, with a total of nearly €10 billion.

It also pioneered green loans. In February 2017, Iberdrola signed the first green loan for a power company with BBVA for €500 million. Later, in April 2018, it signed the first green loan granted in Mexico for €400 million.

For more information, check Energía16

See also: Iberdrola and EVE promote renewable projects in the Basque Country

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