RWE is taking big steps towards expanding its solar business in Europe. The company has started construction works on a 92-megawatt ac (MWac) ground-mounted photovoltaic project in Andalucia in the province of Cádiz. The “Gazules” project consist of two solar farms – Gazules 1 and Gazules 2 – with a rated capacity of 46 MWac each. Early construction works have already started on Gazules 1. Approximately 240,000 bifacial modules will be installed on a total area of 140 hectares. Bifacial solar cells consist of a double-sided module, which allows solar irradiance to be absorbed from the front as well as from the rear side of the module. A second glass pane on the rear side of the module ensures that refracted light is captured from the rear solar cells. Thus, increasing production and creating a higher efficiency module at the solar plant. Full commissioning of the entire project is expected by the end of 2023, after which Gazules will be able to supply the equivalent of 20,000 Spanish homes with green electricity annually.
At the end of last year, RWE already commissioned its 44-MWac Casa Valdes solar farm near Madrid. Two further solar projects, Puerta del Sol close to Casa Valdes and Las Vaguadas in the province of Badajoz, with a total of 54 MWac are in the commissioning phase. After the commissioning of Gazules at the end of this year, RWE will operate a solar capacity of approximately 250 MWac in Spain.
Katja Wünschel, CEO Onshore Wind and Solar Europe & Australia, RWE Renewables: “The expansion of our Spanish solar business has taken off rapidly. Five new solar farms in less than two years is a great track record. RWE will contribute even more towards achieving the Spanish climate targets. Thanks to its excellent solar and wind conditions, Spain is an important core market for us.”
RWE’s Renewables business in Spain
RWE Renewables Iberia operates an installed onshore wind capacity of approximately 490 MW in Spain. In addition to the solar construction projects, RWE is building the Orkoien onshore wind project near Pamplona to test innovative technologies to further promote sustainability.
In line with its growth ambitions, RWE is preparing the wind and solar projects in the existing development pipeline to take part in the ‘Concurso de capacidad’, the Spanish tenders to access capacity for the electricity transmission grid.