Naturgy launches a wind power and photovoltaic plant in Extremadura that will supply renewable energy to 55,000 homes

The Merengue II wind farm is the company’s second in the region and the Puerta del Jerte photovoltaic plant, the second of this technology.
The two new facilities, located in the Cáceres municipality of Plasencia, have allowed the creation of more than 860 direct and indirect jobs and will produce energy equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 54,500 homes.
Between now and the end of the year, Extremadura will have nine facilities in development, construction and operation, a figure that makes it one of the autonomous communities with the most new Naturgy renewable projects in Spain.

Naturgy has put into service this week the Merengue II wind farm, the company’s second in Extremadura, and the Puerta del Jerte photovoltaic plant, the second of this technology in the community. Both facilities allow the energy company to add 80 MW to those it already had in operation and reach 142 renewable MW in the region.

The two facilities, which have created more than 860 direct and indirect jobs, will produce more than 190 GWh/year of energy, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 54,500 homes. Likewise, they will contribute to reducing more than 120,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to removing 50,000 vehicles from circulation for one year. During the useful life of both projects, estimated at 30 years, the emission of more than 1.8 million tons of CO2 per year will be avoided.

For Ana Ruiz, Naturgy’s Renewable Development delegate in Extremadura, “these new infrastructures represent an endorsement of the company’s determined commitment to the Extremadura region as a reference in renewable matters”, as well as “evidence of the commitment to the energy transition and decarbonization, which represents one of the company’s main roadmaps.”

With a total of 11 wind turbines, and an approximate investment of 41 million euros, the Merengue II wind farm has a power of 50 MW. It will produce 128 GWh annually, and will avoid the annual emission of nearly 81,500 tons of CO2. It is Naturgy’s second wind farm in Extremadura, which, together with Merengue, has made the municipality of Plasencia the only one with generation of this type in the Community.

For its part, the Puerta del Jerte photovoltaic plant has involved an investment of nearly 16 million euros. With a power of 30 MW, it will generate 62 GWh/year, avoiding the emission of almost 39,500 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Measures to protect biodiversity

The construction of these two facilities has also entailed the implementation of different environmental measures in the surroundings, in line with the environmental protection and biodiversity policy of the areas where Naturgy develops its projects.

In the case of the Merengue II wind farm, work is being done on the design and execution of actions in different sections of the Jerte River as it passes through Plasencia, aimed at improving the state of conservation of the special protection area for lesser kestrel colonies. and the Cachón of Plasencia, and the special conservation area of the Alagón and Jerte rivers. These measures have included the removal of invasive plants; the improvement and regeneration of the vegetation of the “La Isla” river walk, in areas where the vegetation is in the worst state; and the installation of nest boxes in the environment. Likewise, it is planned to carry out the marking of several black vultures with radio transmitters, to understand their use of space and territoriality.

In the case of the surroundings of the Puerta del Jerte photovoltaic plant, measures have been planned for the protection of amphibians, such as the provision of ponds for their reproduction; actions for the protection of reptiles, such as the construction of five shelters; and actions for the conservation of birdlife, such as the installation and maintenance of drinkers. As in Merengue II, it is planned to carry out radio-monitoring of species, in this case breeding red kites and black storks and their offspring, and a sampling and analysis study of the habitat of the black wheatear is also being carried out.

Likewise, a study of the evolution of soil quality is being carried out by the University of Extremadura. Also, in the Monfragüe Natural Park, a holly recovery study and planting trials of other protected flora species are contemplated.

Merengue II and the Puerta del Jerte plant join the Merengue wind farm, all three in the municipality of Plasencia, a municipality that has become a benchmark in renewables and especially in wind energy, as witnessed by the acquisition last September , from the Eolo 2023 Award from the Wind Business Association (AEE) for the Rural Integration of Wind Power.

Naturgy’s commitment to Extremadura

Extremadura is a region of high strategic value for Naturgy. In addition to the two facilities in Plasencia, the energy multinational is building another photovoltaic plant, Las Jaras de Badajoz, located in the municipalities of La Albuera and Badajoz, with an installed power of 59 MW. This installation will produce approximately 123 GWh/year of energy, which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of more than 35,200 homes, and will avoid the emission into the atmosphere of nearly 78,350 tons of CO2 per year.