French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies has started construction on solar projects with a total capacity of 263MW in the city of Guillena, in the Andalusian region of Spain.

As part of the plan, TotalEnergies will build a total of five solar plants, namely the 51MW Postigo, the 52MW Arbotante, the 52MW Pilastra, the 53MW La Noria and the 55MW La Carrascosa.

The total estimated investment in the solar plants is roughly €200m ($213.8m). With nearly 400,000 solar panels, the five plants will generate enough clean energy to supply more than 150,000 homes while preventing 140,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually.

The construction phase, which is expected to last for the next 12 months, could create more than 800 direct and indirect jobs in the region. The company and the Guillena City Council has agreed to collaborate on promoting local employment and introducing vocational training programmes.

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The company also stated that it will protect biodiversity at the solar plants and engaged with the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia to develop knowledge and specific application protocols to preserve the environment and the biodiversity of their surroundings.

Guillena mayor Lorenzo Medina said: “This project represents progress in the determined commitment of our country and our autonomous community to renewable energies and to leadership in the production of clean energy that contributes to our bet and fight against climate change with the reduction of CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere.

“Guillena, its municipality, its people count and continue to perceive that special positive relationship with this farm and now with this project. We all know that it is difficult to find anyone who opposes the development of clean energy as such, but we are also aware of the reluctance towards the impact on the landscape, towards the change in land use and towards the many unproven theories that sometimes prevail in the population when it touches them closely.”