Enel Green Power intends to be a leading player in this market segment. In Italy – where we also operate the 3.3 MW Serre Persano (Salerno) plant, one of the world’s largest photovoltaic facilities – we are currently completing the installation of about 50 MW of photovoltaic power, which is expected to increase to 65 MW in 2009 and 210 MW by 2012. We have also launched an ambitious review of our programs beginning as early as 2009, thanks to strategic partnerships with a number of the industry’s leading players.
As regards the development of more advanced photovoltaic technology, we are currently analyzing the benefits of the various options available, such as semiconductor alternatives to silicon that can achieve much greater efficiencies, as well as concentration systems with heat recovery.
In the area of advanced technologies, Enel has begun testing of solar thermal generation with our Archimede Concentrating Solar Power, which has been realized at our Priolo Gargallo (Syracuse) plant. This is the world’s first example of a combined-cycle gas plant integrated with a solar energy plant, based on a highly innovative technology developed by Enea.
Wind power has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, and is expected to continue growing at a rate of about 30% per year in the coming years.
In Italy, it has been the fastest growing source of energy over the last decade. And Enel Green Power has made a significant contribution to this growth. Starting with Italy’s first wind farm, which Enel built in Alta Nurra (Sardinia) in 1984, we now operate 31 wind farms with a total generation capacity of 445 MW.
We also have a significant, rapidly growing presence in the rest of Europe (about 1480 MW), Latin America (24 MW) and North America (406 MW). In the United States in particular, where we have wind turbines projects for some 1,000 additional megawatts, with the Smoky Hills plant in Kansas (250 MW), while in January 2008 we completed the installation of 21 wind turbines for 3 MW each in Snyder (Texas) on the tallest towers ever erected in the United States.