Environmental green light for 15 photovoltaic plants in the Campo de Gibraltar within five months

The massive arrival in the Campo de Gibraltar - as in many other places - of massive photovoltaic plant projects has been taking new steps since the end of last year. Between 25 October and 22 February last year, the Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian regional government) granted the Unified Environmental Authorisation (AAU, the definitive environmental procedure) to fifteen photovoltaic plant projects in the region.

Almost half of these projects, a total of seven, are located in Jimena. Four of them are promoted by Tayan Investment (the same firm, but numbered from 12 to 15, one for each project). They are the Tan Energy 1 to Tan Energy 4 plants, all of them with 49.8 MWp (megawatt peak) of power and 87,318 panels each (except one with 87,372). All four would be connected to a collector substation called Tan Energy.

Retiro Energía (5 and 6, one firm each) and Liberty Jimena are promoting the Marchenilla, Marchenilla VII and Marchenilla VIII plants, ranging from 25 to 50 MWp and almost 243,000 solar panels.

Three other municipalities have two projects each. The Adar Puerto de Santa María (43.1 MWp and 64,320 modules) and López Sancho II (23 MWp and 39,988 modules) plants are located in Tesorillo. In San Roque, the Arraez (40 MWp) and Santo Domingo Solar (35 MWp) plants are planned, both with more than 60,000 modules in their installations. And in Los Barrios, Cañuelo II is located, with 24.78 MWp and almost 41,000 panels, parameters that are doubled in the case of the Doha 2 park.

In Algeciras, the Patria II photovoltaic plant is planned, with almost 30 MWp and more than 52,000 modules. Finally, in Tarifa, where the Azicar plant is planned (42.5 MWp and almost 75,000 modules) and the only municipality in the region where, in the aforementioned period, the AAU application has been rejected, that of the Global 2 plant, with more than 56 MWp and more than 111,000 modules, although the rejection is based on its evacuation line to the Puerto de la Cruz electricity substation.

All the projects that have been granted the AAU within the aforementioned five-month period cover an area of 865.22 hectares, as well as 1,082,290 modules (solar panels) and their evacuation lines total 101.41 kilometres of cable, whether they are overhead or underground installations.

Electrical installation
On Monday, the Official Provincial Gazette (BOP) of Cadiz published the granting of authorisation for the electrical installation of the Tan Energy 2, 3 and 4 plants, another administrative step necessary to move forward with the photovoltaic projects.

Wind farms
Yesterday's edition of the Official Gazette of the Andalusian Regional Government (BOJA) published the resolution, dated 23 February 2023, of the Territorial Delegation of Economy, Finance and European Funds and Industrial Policy and Energy in Cadiz, which grants administrative authorisation prior to the installation of high voltage electricity to two wind farms located in Los Barrios.

One of these corresponds to the application submitted by the company Parque Eólico Cerro Cabello, S.L., for the 12 MWN Cerro Cabello wind farm project, which has two wind turbines.

The other corresponds to the request from Parque Eólico La Curtidora, S.L. for the installation of the 24 MW El Patrón wind farm with four wind turbines.

Both projects cover a combined surface area of just over 190 hectares and around half a kilometre of cable in their evacuation lines to the Cerro Cabello substation, which they both share.

The expansion of photovoltaic power in the region also involves wind energy, with several projects pending authorisations, as is the case with many other photovoltaic plants.