According to Iberdrola, its planned solar PV module manufacturing plant with Exiom in Asturias will enable the economic reactivation of Spain’s mining basins. (Photo Credit: Iberdrola)
According to Iberdrola, its planned solar PV module manufacturing plant with Exiom in Asturias will enable the economic reactivation of Spain’s mining basins. (Photo Credit: Iberdrola)

Iberdola Joins Hands With Exiom For Solar Manufacturing in EU

Iberdrola To Invest In Industrial Scale Solar Panel Manufacturing Plant In Spain; Plans To Expand Exiom Collaboration To Other Components In Value Chain
  • Iberdrola and Exiom Group have joined hands to co-develop a large solar PV module manufacturing plant in Spain
  • The fab is scheduled to come online in 2023 in Asturias' Langreo region where Exiom operates a factory of steel structures for PV parks
  • Initially the factory will produce only solar modules of an undisclosed annual capacity, but later the collaboration may be expanded to other components of the PV value chain

Spanish energy giant Iberdrola has announced plans to commission the '1st' large solar PV module manufacturing plant in Spain's Asturias region within 2023 in partnership with solar panels manufacturer Exiom. The two plans to expand the collaboration to other components of the PV value chain.

The new fab of undisclosed annual capacity in Asturias' Langreo, according to Iberdrola, will be one of the 1st on an industrial scale in Europe. It will be constructed for an investment of €20 million and create 115 direct jobs.

Spain headquartered Exiom comes to the table with its experience of operating solar module fabs in Spain, France, and 2 in China, and is also present in installation and EPC works through a group subsidiary Solarev. It operates a factory of steel structures for PV parks in Langreo.

Iberdrola says the module fab will enable the economic reactivation of Spain's mining basins and added that the 'opening of this new factory in Europe responds to the interest of both companies in achieving a competitive manufacturing at EU level'. The announcement comes shortly after the only other European electric utility active in solar module manufacturing, Italy's Enel Green Power's (EGP) 3Sun solar module factory company has raised an Italian export credit agency SACE backed loan of €560 million from UniCredit to help expand Europe's largest solar panel factory in Italy's Catania to 3 GW level, up from 200 MW at present (see UniCredit Shells Out €560 Million For Enel's HJT Fab).

For Iberdrola, this move into solar manufacturing is aligned with its long-term strategy PERSEO program through which it helps launch industrial initiatives in the field of energy transition, it added.

The announcement follows the European Commission presenting its Green Deal Industrial Plan, aimed to be the European Union's (EU) Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), that aims to support clean energy technologies development to meet the bloc's decarbonization targets and build an entire PV value chain locally (see EU Promises Green Deal Industrial Plan For Clean Technology). However, the incentive details have to be still hammered out and are expected to be presented only in mid-March. In this regard, the announcement of Iberdrola seems a bit early, but module manufacturing, moreover with a partner already active in this segment, is not very Capex intensive.

Iberdrola's PV production announcement might be a prelude of what's about to come in Europe. Going by the reactions the IRA has elicited from local and foreign investors in solar PV manufacturing along the solar value chain in the US, the EU's Green Deal Industrial Plan / Net-Zero Industry Act might do similar magic in the EU – if the Europeans get their act together.

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