Justice puts Iberdrola in trouble by forcing it to return part of the land on which the largest photovoltaic plant in Europe is based
Núñez de Balboa Solar Park, in Usagre (Badajoz).
Núñez de Balboa Solar Park, in Usagre (Badajoz).

A ruling by the Superior Court of Justice of Extremadura (TSJEx) forces Iberdrola to return to its owner part of the land on which the Núñez de Balboa plant, the largest photovoltaic plant in Europe, is located in the municipality of Usagre (Badajoz). The land in dispute was initially expropriated for the construction of the photovoltaic plant and on it, and before said expropriation, there was a lease agreement for a period of 25 years. The Extremadura plant, connected to the grid in April 2020, involved a disbursement of 300 million euros for the electricity company.

The Spanish energy company emphasizes that the expropriation procedure was undertaken “by the competent administration, following the legally established procedures and respecting all existing rights and guarantees.” And he trusts that the judicial ruling, against which he will file an appeal in the Supreme Court, will not end in the dismantling of the facility. Another possible route would be the renegotiation of the fair value established in the expropriation, an option that would avoid the worst scenario for their interests, but that would substantially raise the cost of the land.

“Fraud of law and abuse of rights”

“There is no basis to request the expropriation of some farms that months before we have ensured their availability through a lease for a period of 25 years. In other words, the request for expropriation lacked cause or justification to deprive the right of property”, reads the judgment of the Extremaduran court, which recognizes the right to “return in nature”, that is, “to the reinstatement of the farms free from the photovoltaic plant with all its facilities”. The text speaks of “fraud of law and abuse of rights” in the expropriation process.

“The dispute stems from only one of the three owners of the land on which the facility is located. 50% of this land is owned by two tenants who have not raised any claim at any time and who maintain and respond to the contract signed at the time (initially, by the three owners) ”, wield sources from the company chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Prince. The energy company affirms that the installation has “all the permits to produce energy and will continue to function normally”.

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.

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