UK-based energy company Lightsource BP has announced the start of commercial operations at its flagship solar project, Vendimia, in Zaragoza, Spain.
The 247MWp solar project will generate electricity to be supplied to BP’s European power trading team under a long-term power purchase agreement.
The company’s contractor, Prodiel, which handled the construction process, will continue to maintain the solar cluster for the next two years as part of an operations and maintenance agreement.
Lightsource BP Spain country head Fernando Roger said: “The connection of our Vendimia project truly demonstrates the resilience of solar.
“We had to face many challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but our team and trusted partners remained focused and we have now completed our first project in Spain.
“Lightsource BP’s ever-increasing local project pipeline will provide a positive contribution to Spain and the wider European Union’s renewables targets, with the many co-benefits that our projects deliver, like boosting biodiversity and local economic development.”
During the construction phase, almost 615,000 bifacial solar panels were installed on 650ha of land on multi-row tracker technology to allow them to follow the sun.
Two overhead transmission lines at 18km and 20km were also built for supplying solar power to the local network.
In collaboration with non-governmental organisation Dema, Lightsource BP installed a Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) nesting building on the perimeter of the site.
Prodiel CEO Mario Serrano Villate said: “The implementation of a large-scale photovoltaic project of this magnitude has been a huge challenge and success.”
The project secured financing from NatWest, Intesa Sanpaolo, Santander and Bankinter.
During the construction period, the project created more than 600 local jobs.
Earlier this week, Lightsource BP acquired a pipeline of three solar projects in Spain from Grupo Jorge.
All three of the projects, which have a total of 703MW of generation capacity, are located in Aragon.