As reported in the BOE, the Spanish Government Official Bulletin, the Secretary of State for the Environment, part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, has approved the environmental impact statement for the construction project of one of Europe’s largest PV plants in Mula (Murcia). The Mula plant will be the first in Spain to operate with no type of tariff incentive, competing in the market alongside other power generation technologies.

The object of the project is the construction of a 450 MW PV installation, two substations and an aerial/underground power evacuation line.

Developed by Promosolar Juwi 17 S.L., this plant will be one of the largest solar PV plants in Europe, occupying a surface area of over one thousand hectares. The anticipated investment is €450m with works execution divided into different phases to be performed over four years, according to project data.

When it was announced in May 2013, the project was declared of “strategic interest” by the Murcia government with the aim of reducing the time necessary to obtain the required authorisations by half. The project is expected to create 200 jobs during the design phase and over 1,000 jobs during its construction and engineering phases.

Recently, the Municipal authority approved the signature of an agreement with the project developer under which the Town Council will put up an estimated amount of more than €600,000 per year, in addition to an investment of €300,000 that will be allocated to the study and plan for energy saving and efficiency, the use of renewable energy and sustainable mobility by the Town Hall, as well as equipping the different municipal buildings and public spaces with systems that make the most of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. These include changing the street lighting which in itself will involve a 50% reduction in consumption.

The agreement will include significant tax reductions for the company, mainly corresponding to the ICIO (the Tax on Constructions, Installations and Works) that could come down by 95%, resulting in a final investment for the municipal coffers of close to €2m.

According to statements made by a Juwi representative, this approval is an intermediate step in the bidding process with the next major milestone being the concession of the administrative authorisation by the Ministry of Industry, which is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2016.