The European Commission’s Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) has awarded a €4.35 million grant to a project sponsored by ACCIONA Energía that will install smart, solar-powered irrigation systems for nearly 2,000 farmers in the Ebro basin in Spain.
The project promises to deliver a triple win to irrigation communities in Ebro basin (La Rioja y Aragón) : zero carbon emissions, significant water savings and lower energy bills. The installation of photovoltaic solar modules to power the irrigation networks will eliminate the carbon emissions associated with the electric mix or diesel pumps. Smart sensors will reduce the consumption of water and the need to pump less water will also save on energy bills. Given that agriculture accounts for 70% of water consumption in Spain, and that water shortages and drought are becoming more frequent, this sustainable solution will make farming communities more sustainable and more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The project’s business model, developed by ACCIONA Energía, points the way to how renewable energy can promote water and energy savings in agriculture.
The Photovoltaic Pumping Innovation in Irrigation Communities project contemplates the installation of 7.35MWp of photovoltaic capacity. The project’s estimated production of around 12,000MWh per year will avoid the annual emission of 1,800 tonnes of CO2.
The total investment required for the project is around €7.5 The project is led by ACCIONA Energía in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM), the National Federation of Irrigation Communities, the consultancy Consultora de Ingeniería Rural y Agroalimentaria (Cingral), Qualifying Photovoltaics (QPV) and the Irrigation Communities of Alto Aragón.
The solar-powered irrigation project incorporates two major innovations. The first is the technology used to stabilize the injection of energy into the system, which in turn stabilizes the irrigation process itself. UPM developed and patented this process following the success of the earlier research project: Maslowaten, granted by the European Commission under the H2020 program.
The clean pumping technology developed by UPM was able to solve issues such as the intermittency of solar power when the sun doesn’t shine and the opposite problem – overloading the network during peak radiation periods. Smart features include a decentralized system for advanced monitoring, automated performance analysis, fault detection and reporting, all of which improve efficiency.
The result is an efficient, high-power, autonomous and battery-free photovoltaic irrigation system.
The second important innovation is the project’s business model, whereby farmers will not have to pay for the initial cost of the installation. They will instead amortize the cost through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the supplier of solar energy for their irrigation networks. These PPAs will offer farmers a competitive and stable price that will reduce their exposure to energy market fluctuations.
In compliance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on Data Protection and with other Data Protection regulations in force, you are hereby informed that your personal data shall be processed by Corporación Acciona Energías Renovables, S.A., whose identification data are as follows: Tax ID No. (NIF): A-85483311, Address: Avenida de la Gran Vía de Hortaleza, 1 28033 (Madrid), Tel.+34 91 657 64 61. Your data shall be processed in order to address and manage your queries, requests, claims and suggestions, as well as send information, regarding our products and services through electronic means (all of these, hereinafter the “Request”).
The consent given by the data subject by indicating that they have read and accept this data protection information comprises the lawfulness of processing, and if a contract had been entered into with the interested party, legitimation shall be for the compliance of legal obligations derived from the aforementioned contract and for the enforcement thereof. We will only process the essential data that you provide in your application, such as your identification data (name, surname, language, contact details) and data related to the business area of your interest. The data shall be stored only for the time to attend and answer your Request, and in any case, never for more than twelve months.
In case your Request is related to other ACCIONA solutions or businesses, we may communicate your personal data to another entity of the Group (you can consult a list of ACCIONA Group companies at www.acciona.com/shareholders-investors/financial-information/annual-accounts/), in order to be able to deal with your Request in a more efficient way. We also may give access to your data to service providers (such as technology service providers) who assist us in fulfilling this purpose. Some of its service providers, may be located outside of the European Economic Area in territories that do not offer a level of data protection that is comparable to that of the European Union. In such cases, we transfer User data with appropriate safeguards and always ensuring the security of the same. By accepting the privacy terms, you consent to your data being transferred internationally in order for your Request to be properly processed.
The data subject can exercise their rights of access to or rectification, erasure or portability of their data, and/or the restriction of or objection to the processing of such data, by contacting to Corporación Acciona Energías Renovables, S.L., by writing the Department of Data Protection located at Avenida de la Gran Vía de Hortaleza, 3 28033 (Madrid), or by sending the form available at:
If we consider it necessary in order to be able to identify you, we may ask you for a copy of an identity document. Furthermore, at any time the data subject may withdraw the granted consent by contacting the aforementioned address and file a claim to the Supervisory Authority (Agencia Española de Protección de Datos www.aepd.es).
For any further information you can visit the Privacy Police on the website.