Iberdrola Spain has obtained environmental approval for the first hybrid plant in the country that combines a photovoltaic with a hydroelectric installation, with the publication of the Environmental Impact Declaration (DIA).
Called HIDRO Cedillo, the project will be located in Cedillo (Extremadura) and will have a capacity of 86.4 MW, with more than 160,000 photovoltaic modules and a type of fixed structure.
Hybrid generation plants use the same connection point to the grid and share infrastructure, such as the substation and the evacuation line for electricity produced. In addition, they allow for common roads and facilities for the operation of both technologies. All of this results in a much lower environmental impact than two independent plants would have had. By having two technologies capable of alternating, dependence on changing environmental conditions and limitations due to the possible lack of resources such as wind or sun are significantly reduced, which facilitates more stable and efficient renewable production, according to a release.
The HIDRO Cedillo project includes a series of measures to protect the environment, all framed in promoting the improvement of biodiversity in the environment, Iberdrola said.
To facilitate the availability of water in the different sectors of the photovoltaic solar plant, two additional ponds or water points will be built. The construction of a livestock watering hole and a system of naturalized ponds for the surrounding wildlife is also contemplated. It is planned to mark the exclusion zones that protect river courses, ponds, unique vegetation, trees and habitats of interest around the large pond in the area.
Iberdrola recently announced it will also build the first hybrid wind and solar plant in Spain in Burgos, with the aim of improving its renewable resources and making the most of existing locations.
Iberdrola has 21,000 MW of renewable capacity installed in Spain and plans to execute more than 7,600 MW of renewables in the country in the next four years to accelerate electrification of the economy and contribute to reducing energy dependence on abroad. Extremadura has become one of Iberdrola’s growth regions, with around 5,200 MW installed, 4,100 of them renewable, including hydroelectric, solar and battery stations.
Originally published in Hydro Review.