News

2021/03/18

Spanish PV association urges to limit the capacity of new solar farms


Spain should limit the size of new photovoltaic projects and also better distribute the plants in the country. Instead, smaller projects of one to ten megawatts should be supported, which would then also be located closer to the consumers, demands the Spanish National Association of Solar Power Producers ANPIER (Asociación Nacional de Productores de Energía Fotovoltaica).
One of the reasons given is that this would prevent a local clustering of large-scale power plants. Large companies and developers take advantage of economies of scale to develop their projects cheaply, Because of excessive speculation by large investment funds, this leads to value creation outside Spain.
Limiting the construction of large-scale projects would allow municipalities throughout Spain to enjoy more economic benefits. Moreover, large electricity transmission losses can be prevented if the solar output is used locally.
Large solar farms are less efficient, since they have to transport the energy over long distances, with its corresponding losses and costs. ANPIER considers that the most appropriate alternative is to favor smaller installations (between 1 to 10 MW, occupying ca. 2 to 15 hectares of land, and which connect to medium voltage grid. The medium voltage grid lines feed the transformation centers, by which up to 75% of the total consumption of electrical energy in Spain is supplied.
With this scheme of small and medium-sized solar parks, the cost of distributing the energy would not increase, and the energy losses that occur due the value chain from generation to consumption are minimized.
Therefore, in future solar auctions a fixed quota of the tendered capacity should be reserved specifically for PV projects with less than ten megawatts. Small and medium-sized solar plants can be better integrated into rural areas, enjoy higher acceptance among the population and are often owned by local initiatives. Unlike in Spain, this can be already observed in other European countries.