Balearic Islands bag €40m grant for 326MW of small-scale solar

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SOLBAL scheme deemed great success for distributed solar. Credit: IDAE

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has offered grants worth €40 million to 55 small solar projects to be located on Spain's Balearic Islands, with a total capacity of 326MW.

Solar progress on the Islands has been driven by the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan, which sees these locations as suitable for an energy transition while also acting as a testbed for technologies and policies that can then be used in the rest of Spain.

The newly-financed projects were all evaluated and approved for the first SOLBAL Call, which is the Balearic Islands specific programme for promoting PV projects of >100kW. This is co-financed by ERDF funds and the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE). The new grants account for 15.3% of the €260.5 million required investment in the 55 plants, which are to be completed by 2022.

The solar installations, which are mostly distributed and less than 5MW in capacity each, will bring the proportion of solar in the Islands' energy mix from 2.5% to 10%.

The capacity includes: 256.4 in Majorca, 61.6MW in Minorca, 6.2MW in Ibiza, and 1.9MW in Formentera.

At present, the Balearic Islands have a total of 38 PV projects, of which 35 are in Majorca, two in Menorca and one in Formentera. Another 20 parks are going through processing.

Earlier this year, the Islands decided to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with a deadline of 2025 to phase out diesel cars and close a coal power plant on Majorca.

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