Iberdrola has secured approvals to build what will be one of Europe’s largest solar plants, a 1200MW project in Portugal.
The Spanish developer has secured environmental approvals to build the 1.2GW Fernando Pessoa solar project, in Santiago do Cacém, near Sines.
The plant is due online in 2025 and will have Prosolia Energy as partner.
The grid connection has already been contracted with Portuguese operator REN and land for the project has been secured, with construction expected to create up to 2500 jobs, mostly local.
The plant will be an example of the "coexistence of new renewable developments with environmental heritage and local communities", said Iberdrola.
The project’s action plan includes measures such as occupational skills training, fostering tourism and providing solar energy to nearby communities.
In terms of biodiversity and environmental protection, the land will be used by shepherds to graze sheep and beehives will be introduced, which will help to improve ecosystem stability and boost crop yields in the surrounding farmland.
In addition, planting will be carried out in the area surrounding the facility to restore indigenous tree species.