The El Fresno Irrigation Community has launched today a new photovoltaic plant, located in Valdemaría (Moguer), which will serve to irrigate some 550 hectares of crops with renewables.
The event, which was attended by the Regional Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Carmen Crespo, served to highlight the role of the Irrigation Community The Ash in the sustainability of the environment, not only with the contribution of surface water, but now also with irrigation thanks to clean energy compared to traditional energy.
This has been indicated by the president of the Community, Ángel Gorostidi, who has highlighted “the increase in the efficiency of the community” thanks to this infrastructure, “which allows us to be more sustainable and take even better care of the resources that we have within our reach, as well as reduce the impact on the environment”.
This was also stated by the Minister, who wished to congratulate the irrigation community for the new installation, and highlighted the commitment of the Huelva agricultural sector to the conservation of the environment, which is reflected in the fact that “in the last year they have added a thousand more hectares of ecological production in the Condado region”.
Carmen Crespo has opted for having “efficient irrigation” and showing “the rest of the world” that in Andalusia “every last drop of water is used correctly in our crops”. “This is the future”, she has commented in relation to a renewable energy initiative such as this photovoltaic plant in El Fresno, which allows the production costs of agricultural holdings to be reduced.
Valdemaría is the second photovoltaic installation launched by the community, after a previous one in the Malvinas area (Moguer), with which some 700 hectares are already irrigated. The new installation is used to fill the El Diamante reservoir (80,000 m3) with water that comes from the Huelva Water Ring and allows energy savings of up to 95%.
“The fact that it is made up of hydride drives allows us to combine the use of electricity and photovoltaics, just electricity or just photovoltaics, and thus increase the percentage of efficiency and savings, because it is an environmental and also an economic commitment”, explained Gorostidi. The photovoltaic installation will produce approximately 250,000 kWh/year and will save CO2 of 90 toe/year (avoided tons of oil) and final electrical energy of 22 t/year. Its cost has been almost 600,000 euros and it has been financed 56.7% by the Junta de Andalucía.
For his part, the director of Business Development at Magtel, the company executing the photovoltaic installation for self-consumption developed in El Fresno, David Díaz, has indicated that the determination of the irrigation community to carry out this project has, in his opinion, “a double importance, since it encourages and serves as a lever for other communities to join with initiatives along the same lines”, for which he congratulated her for it.
The person in charge of Magtelha added that the energy cost “is a particularly sensitive issue at present”, but that it was also necessary to remember that sustainability “is, in itself, a goal”, for which he highlighted “projects like this, that help consolidate an agricultural model that represents low-carbon agriculture.”
Plants in two more pumping stations.
After Malvinas and Valdemaría, El Fresno hopes to close 2022 with two more photovoltaic plants “and thus be a green lung for irrigation in the area.” The first to be completed will be in Lucena del Puerto. In this case, the project is already ready and awarded. This plant would be about 700 kW.
The last of them is the most ambitious and largest of all, with 2,700 kW, located in Montemayor (Moguer), with the possibility of expansion in the future. “The lack of space makes us consider including plates in the water of the rafts, which would also help us to have less algae, and reduce the temperature of the water.”
The needs study of El Fresno and El Fresno Guadalquivir, which in addition to farmers supply water to Giahsa, shows that 3,200 kW are needed.
The commissioning and technical visit of the facilities has had the presence of the Government delegates in Huelva, Bella Verano; of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Álvaro Burgos, and that of Sustainable Development, José Enrique Borrallo. In addition, they have attended the mayor of the town, Gustavo Cuéllar, accompanied by other municipal representatives; and representatives of the sector such as Freshuelva, and presidents and managers of other irrigation communities in the province of Huelva and the main cooperatives of Moguer and surrounding municipalities.