Acciona has completed a 1.5 MW solar power plant that operates as an irrigation system for 3,400 hectares in north-eastern Spain, serving 150 irrigation devices. The company supplies water to local farmers under a 26-year contract.
Spanish renewable energy company Acciona Energía has launched what it claims is “the world’s largest solar power plant linked to an irrigation system connected directly to the grid without backup batteries”.
Acciona has built a 1.58 MW solar power plant in Montesusín, near Huesca in northeastern Spain. Equipped with 2,400 solar modules and monitoring equipment, the facility covers 35,585 m2. The average annual production is 3,000 MWh, and the plant directly uses irrigation pumps for 150 irrigation machines on 3,400 hectares.
Acciona Energía announced the project in 2021 when it launched the “Innovation in Solar Pumping Irrigation Communities” initiative, which aims to install 7.3 MW.
The project included two major innovations. The first is a technique used to stabilize the injection of energy into the system. This technology was developed and patented by Maslowaten, a European-funded research project developing smart solar-powered irrigation solutions led by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).
“The energy produced by the plant drives the pumps that raise water from the drainage basin to the crown basin, from where it is distributed by gravity to all the irrigation machines,” said Óscar Dupla, head of Acciona’s distributed generation technical office. Energy
According to the company, the new system includes distributed monitoring, automatic analysis, fault detection and reporting, which improves irrigation efficiency and management. Irrigation devices no longer need to activate watering manually, because the system is programmed to do it automatically. In addition, Acciona sells water to irrigation facilities with a 26-year contract. The company plans to expand the project solution to the whole of Spain.