Largest solar power facility in Europe begins operations just as challenges spikeApril 16, 2020
The facility has just come online as the coronavirus presents new hurdles to have to face.
The 500 megawatt photovoltaic plant dubbed the largest solar power facility in Europe has recently come online and started sending power into the grid.
This new move into renewable energy comes with substantial challenges from the pandemic.
The Núñez de Balboa plant is located in western Spain in the region called Extremadura. According to utility Iberdrola, that new solar power facility has more than 1.4 million solar panels. It will provide renewable energy to about 250,000 people every year.
The plant is the result of a collaboration between Iberdrola and Ecoenergías del Guadiana. Construction on the project was completed in December 2019. This launched a new and powerful step for renewable energy powered by the sun. That said, as is the case across many other sectors in renewable energy, the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing about unexpected difficulties.
At the start of this week, the Wood Mackenzie consultancy firm said that worldwide installations this year was revised down to 106.4 GW from having been 129.5 GW for 2020. That reflects a reduction of 18 percent when compared to the totals before the pandemic.
This is a very difficult time for the new large solar power facility to become operational.
At the end of March, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) president and CEO Abigail Ross-Hopper wrote a blog post from her perspective in the United States, saying that the solar industry as a whole was “at risk”. She cited data from a survey carried out with her organization’s member companies, saying that “solar companies and workers are losing business and being put out of work by COVID-19.”
This industry, just as many others across the renewables sector, are facing unprecedented risks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That outbreak has already led to supply chain issues and has caused come factories to have to close.
Just as the largest solar power facility in Europe came online, the situation has become highly volatile, changing on a daily basis. These sectors have had to move very quickly to try to adapt while keeping up with all regulations and safety measures.