Esparity Solar’s Serol project obtains the UNEF Certificate of Excellence for Sustainability for its good environmental and social integration practices

21st Dec. 2022

The Serol photovoltaic plant, to be built and operated by Esparity Solar in Salinas (Alicante), has become the tenth project to obtain the UNEF Certificate of Excellence for Sustainability. The certificate accredits ground-mounted solar power plants which give utmost importance to social and environmental integration.

Esparity Solar's third project to receive this certification

Serol thus becomes the third Esparity Solar project to achieve this certification. An independent audit was carried out by the company CERE, in which socio-economic, biodiversity preservation and restoration and circular economy parameters were assessed, in line with the company’s commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability.

UNEF is the first entity to design its own system

The Certificate of Excellence in Sustainability, which was created by UNEF in 2020 to deliver best practices by Spanish photovoltaic sector, reinforces the commitment of the national photovoltaic sector to a sustainable energy transition.

Continuing with this work, UNEF has become the first entity that has designed its own system worldwide for the certification of the sustainability of photovoltaic installations, aimed at all companies that may have an interest in obtaining it, whether they are developers, builders, owners or any others in the ground-mounted solar plant segment.

“We have always demanded that we do things well as a sector, as we believe that our future cannot be understood without the coexistence and creation of added value between the population, the territory and its biodiversity and the projects, as if it were a 30-year marriage, based on respect and mutual conviction of the positive aspects of the initiative”, emphasised José Donoso, general manager of the Spanish Photovoltaic Union.

There are currently ten ground-mounted solar energy projects belonging to the companies Iberdrola, Statkraft, Falck Renovables, Esparity Solar and Verbund that have achieved the UNEF Certificate of Excellence in Sustainability.

“These ten projects demonstrate that there is no source of energy generation more integrated with the territory, biodiversity and citizens than solar energy. We are convinced that, thanks to the existence of this pioneering certification, what seems to be the exception will become the norm in the national photovoltaic sector. In the coming years, we are confident that all ground-mounted solar projects will have and will see their excellent standards of social and environmental integration recognised,” Donoso emphasised.

Serol project result of teamwork

“The Serol project is the result of extensive teamwork in which the balance between economic growth, social welfare and care for the environment and its biodiversity is guaranteed. Serol represents Esparity Solar’s commitment to achieving decarbonisation and a responsible energy transition,” said Celia Cañas, the company’s Environmental Engineer.

About the Serol Project

The 50MW Serol ground-mounted solar energy project will bring socio-economic and environmental benefits to Salinas (Alicante) and its adjacent municipalities, as once operational, the facility will contribute to the reduction of 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and will produce green energy that will supply more than 29,000 Spanish homes.

In addition, the construction and maintenance of the photovoltaic project will generate around 200 direct and indirect jobs locally. In addition, to promote the highest standards of social integration, the project was subject to a Public Participation Plan in order to learn first-hand about the concerns and needs of the inhabitants of the area and adapt the project to generate the greatest possible social benefit.

Once the project has been built, it will promote the creation of a new economic activity that is doubly advantageous for the Alicante area: bio-agrovoltaics. In this way, it will promote the training of farmers and local winners in this dual use of land that combines ecological agriculture and the generation of clean energy.

The Serol project includes environmental measures focused on the respect and conservation of the biodiversity of the area, such as the implementation of nesting boxes, shelters for rodents and reptiles, ponds and insect hotels. In addition, a plant barrier of native species will be cultivated on the perimeter of the park, which will favour the landscape integration of the project, and a hunting fence with a subway will be installed to allow the safe passage of local fauna.

To guarantee the criteria of a circular economy and recycling, Esparity Solar has pledged to dismantle the photovoltaic plant at the end of its useful life. All components will be recycled and land will be returned to its original state. The temporary occupation of the land is therefore fully reversible.

Original article in Spanish can be  found here: