Iberdrola ordered to return chunk of land under 500MWp solar project in Spain

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The Núñez de Balboa plant has around 1,430,000 solar panels. Image: Iberdrola.

A Spanish court has ruled that Iberdrola must return part of the land on which its 500MWp Núñez de Balboa solar project has been constructed.

Ruling that the request for the expropriation of the land “lacked cause or justification to deprive the right of property”, the court in the Extremadura region ordered Iberdrola to hand back 525 hectares under the project to its previous owner.  

Spanning a total area of nearly 1,000 hectares, the Núñez de Balboa installation was completed in 2019 and is Europe’s largest PV plant, according to Iberdrola.

The utility, which plans to appeal the ruling to the supreme court, said the dispute stems from one of the three owners of the land on which the facility is located.

“The plant was built under a valid and legitimate title, so Iberdrola considers that there will be no dismantling,” the company said in a statement, adding that the project has all the necessary permits to produce energy and will continue to operate normally.

The setback comes as the company progresses with the 590MWp Francisco Pizarro project, which is being built in the Extremadura region and is set to come online this year.

Iberdrola signed a power purchase agreement early last year to sell electricity from the Francisco Pizarro plant to French food group Danone.

Having installed 3.5GW of renewables last year, Iberdrola is aiming to have 16GW of solar installed by the end of 2025 and reach a 95GW renewable energy portfolio by 2030.

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