Spain: largest solar power plant

15.09.2003 By: Adapted from articles in El País (13-9-2003) and El Mundo (15-9-2003)

In a milestone project, the German company Solar Millenium will convert the current agricultural areas of the La Calahorra region (Granada) into a high tech solar power center.

The region in the south of Spain is one of the most sunny areas in Europe; studies point to a yearly 3.633 hours of sunlight. The project consists of converting an area of 1,1 km2 into a solar power plant, helped by 400.000 mirrors that will intensify the radiation to get maximum efficiency of the sunlight.

The total generating capacity will be 100 MW, good for electrification of approx. 75.000 households. The project will generate 1.000 jobs for the coming 2 years, mainly in construction. Once operating, the plant will require about 116 persons. In the mainly agricultureal area of the south this project has been welcomed as a important stimulator of the local economy.

The strong growth in investments in alternative energy sources (solar, biomass, co-generation, wind power) point to the arising market opportunities in this sector. Now, that independent research points to Spain's dependency on outside sources for energy -85% of its total supply in 10 years will come from abroad- the need for building new 'renewable energy capacity' is definitely on the political agenda!

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