19 January 2023- Two Falck Renewables photovoltaic plants have been awarded Certificates of Excellence in Sustainability and Biodiversity Conservation. The seal, received by the Campos Salados and Campos de Zuloaga projects, was awarded by the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) and recognizes solar plants developed with the highest standards of social and environmental integration.
Both plants combine an innovative engineering design with the agrivoltaic technique that best suits the area – in agreement with the local community. The projects were designed to ensure that the installation of photovoltaic modules were compatible with local crops that, among other advantages, promote pollination. In addition, the layout allows grazing and guarantees the stability of biodiversity to maintain or increase local agricultural activity.
This is the second and third seal of excellence awarded to a Falck Renewables project, after its photovoltaic plant project Campos de Levante in Chiva (Valencia) was recognised in 2022.
Campos Salados PV Project in Valencia, Spain.
The Falck Renewables PSF Campos Salados project, now recognized with the UNEF seal, is in the municipality of Carcaixent, in the province of Valencia. This area was chosen for the suitable land and classified, for the most part, as "non-developable land"; suitable for the implementation of renewable generation facilities, according to the regulations, with a total occupation well below 2.5% of the total of this type of land in the municipality, as proposed by the Territorial Strategy of the Valencian Community agreed in 2011.
To get both the maximum agricultural and energy generation yield from the land, Falck Renewables relies on the collaboration of local organizations and institutions, farmers in the region and experts in the field. Once this photovoltaic plant reaches commercial operation, it is expected to produce 200 GWh/year, enough to supply energy to more than 30,000 homes. The construction start date is scheduled for summer 2024.
Campos Zuloaga PV Project in Navarra, Spain.
The second certified project is in the municipalities of Cendea de Cizur in the community of Navarra, and has an approximate area of 130 hectares of agricultural land. The area of the project has been selected for the low environmental impact, the predisposition and acceptance of the owners of the area, the sufficient space, and the insolation of the land; always in line with the analysis provided by the environmental zoning tool for renewable energies of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge -in its acronym, MITECO- that shows the environmental sensitivity index.
The plant will contribute to the state’s ecological transition objectives, to the acceleration of decarbonization and to generating cheaper energy.
The Campos de Zuloaga project is expected to generate 119 GWh/year, equivalent to the energy consumed by 20,000 homes in a year.
In response to obtaining these certificates, Juan Antonio Blanco, Director of Business Development at Falck Renewables Spain, stated: "For Falck Renewables it is a great milestone and an honor to receive this seal for our photovoltaic plants in Campos Salados and Campos Zuloaga. This is the result of our efforts to implement projects that are 100% sustainable and compatible with their environment, with the most efficient techniques, most complete engineering design and best adapted to the terrain.
“It reinforces our long-standing commitment to the local community, providing social and economic benefits to our neighbors, as well as contributes to the energy transition objectives within the framework of decarbonization”.
Criteria to obtain the certificate
To obtain the Seal of Excellence in Sustainability, several criteria are included. On the socio-economic side, it considers the positive impact on local employment, the effect on the economy and the relationship with local stakeholders.
The environmental side focuses on the location of the installation, on the evaluation of its environmental impact and on the design of the plant. It also takes into account the reversibility of the plants so that, when they come to the end of their useful life and are uninstalled, the local environment has improved considerably. The certificates are granted by independent certifying companies (in this specific case, by CERE).