Spanish electric utility Iberdrola has submitted its plans to build a photovoltaic (PV) panel manufacturing facility in Spain, with the European Commission.

Iberdrola applied for the funding under the third call of the European Commission’s Innovation Fund, a grants programme for new technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

When constructed, the manufacturing plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 1.6GW that equates to 3 million solar panels.

These panels are enough to generate a third of the power demands in Spain.

Giving boost to the local economy, the unit could create up to 500 jobs directly within the Extremadura region, where most of the panels could also be installed.

According to the company, construction of the PV manufacturing unit will require European funding to ensure .

The initiative could be framed under the ‘Net Zero Industry Act’, an act of the European Commission that aims to strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of emission-free manufacturing in Europe.

Specific support for manufacture of PV panels is yet to be finalised and could provide economic support for production that makes local manufacture of components for energy competitiveness transition more competitive.

By building this factory in Europe, Iberdrola aims to achieve competitive manufacturing in European Union.

The company is also trying to find solutions in achieving greater energy self-sufficiency by investing in renewables, grid, energy storage and green hydrogen as well.

Extremadura region plays an important role for expanding the company’s renewables portfolio in the country.

Until now, Iberdrola has more than twenty renewable facilities with an installed capacity of more than 4GW, of which 2GW is made up of 12 solar plants.

Furthermore, Iberdrola is developing hydroelectric power in the region. There are eight hydroelectric power plants with an installed capacity of over 2GW.

As per the company’s 2025 plan, it aims to invest €17bn in renewable businesses.

With these investments, its installed capacity of renewable energy will go up from 12.1GW to 52GW in 2025. This includes 3.1GW in onshore wind, 6.3GW in solar, 1.8GW in offshore and 700MW in batteries and 200MW in hydro.