Solar installation saves energy in southern Spain

El Coronil is a city of about 5,000 people in the Andalusia territory of southern Spain. The region is the warmest area of Europe, with generally dry, sunny summers.

Challenge
Striving for greater energy independence and efficiency, Spain recognized the increasing importance of solar power. The government of Andalusia and the city of El Coronil supported a proposed 20 MW capacity photovoltaic solar power installation in the northern part of El Coronil.

Solution
Louis Berger was selected to design a two-phase installation of the solar power station in northern Coronil. Occupying over 90 hectares, it is one of the largest projects of its kind in Spain. Louis Berger was engaged by Puntida-Caja Cantabria of Spain for Coronil I and Anemoi of the United Kingdom for Coronil II.

Coronil I includes 386 dual axis solar trackers that allow energy yield to increase by 30 percent by maintaining the modules in a position perpendicular to the sun’s rays, thus maximizing the use of solar radiation. Coronil II has 53,206 photovoltaic modules mounted on fixed structures, with south-facing cells set at a gradient to maximize use of solar radiation.

The power station holds 14 transformation centers and 26 transformers. The transformation centers for both plants are arranged into a double ring shape connected by a medium-voltage underground cable at 15kV.

The project supplies electricity to an estimated 5,000 homes and reduces CO2 emissions by 19,000 tons per year. It will pare oil imports by 3,000 tons annually, significantly reducing Spain’s economic and energy dependency.