IT will generate enough energy to power 70,000 homes and create an estimated 4,000 jobs.

Now the construction of a giant 50 megawatt solar thermal plant has been given the green light in Castilla la Mancha.

The Termosolar Alcazar Power Project – a joint venture between Spanish firm Preneal and US company SolarReserve – will be built in Alcazar de San Juan.

The ambitious scheme will help Spain meet its EU Climate and Energy objectives which include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to below 20 per cent of 1990 levels.

The granting of the tender follows the securing of a key environmental permit required for the construction of the plant in 2009.