Lightsource bp’s first Spanish project powers up in Zaragoza

Source: press release, 24 June 2021

photo: bp
photo: bp

Lightsource bp has powered up its 247 MWp flagship solar project Vendimia in Zaragoza, Spain. The five-project cluster was constructed safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and commercial operation recently began. The total power output will be supplied to bp’s European power trading team under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

Fernando Roger, Country Head for Lightsource bp Spain comments, “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 focussed, and now we have completed our first project in Spain. We would also like to extend a special thank you to all the landowners involved for their continued support on this project.”

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.”

Felipe Arbelaez, senior vice president for zero-carbon energy bp says, “It’s fantastic to see the safe start-up of this first project in Spain, and for Lightsource bp to achieve an impressive 3 GW pipeline in just 2 years. Through disciplined investment and safe execution, we are delighted to see the next chapter of bp’s energy story in Spain come online.”

This project is also a great example of the power of bp’s integration capabilities as our expert power trading team will offtake the power generated, supporting the financial stability of the project and meeting bp’s strict returns threshold,” Arbelaez adds.

Around 615,000 bifacial solar panels have been installed, over 650 hectares of land on multi-row tracker technology enabling the panels to follow the sun, maximising energy generation efficiency. In addition, two overhead transmission lines at 18 km and 20 km were constructed to efficiently deliver the solar power into the local network.

The construction process was handled by Lightsource bp’s appointed contractor, Prodiel (an Andalusian engineering, procurement and construction company) and over 600 local jobs were created during that time. Prodiel will continue to maintain the solar cluster under an Operations & Maintenance agreement for the next 2 years.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Country Head of Lightsource bp Spain, Fernando Roger, the head of country of bp in Spain, Carlos Barrasa; the Director of Economic Development in Aragon for the Government of Spain, René Gómez López de Munain; and the mayor of Almochuel, Ángel Gascón Moliner, among other authorities.

Lightsource bp will host an open day in September to celebrate this milestone with members of the local community and all stakeholders.

At the opening ceremony, Carlos Barassa, head of country for bp Spain commented, “The Vendimia solar project that we are inaugurating today in Zaragoza is great example of the fulfillment of bp’s ambition in its transition to an integrated energy company, and our contribution to building a low-carbon future.”

In just 2 short years, Lightsource bp’s local team in Spain, based in Madrid has grown from 1 to over 60 full-time employees and the team expects to get a further 148.5 MWp of solar projects into construction this year across Aragon.

Lightsource bp aims to recruit for an additional 30 full-time roles in Spain this year as the company continues to build on its rapidly increasing project development pipeline, currently at 3 GW. Most recently the company has announced co-development agreements with RIC Energy, Iberia Solar and Grupo Jorge. The local team continues to progress solar projects efficiently and safely despite constraints of the global pandemic.