The entry into operation of the new solar power plant in Barrafranca, in the province of Enna, which has a total installed capacity of approximately 5 MW, brings Enel Green Power’s solar installed capacity to around 77 MW in Italy and worldwide.
The new photovoltaic solar power installation, consisting of over 20 thousand panels, will generate over 7.2 million kWh per year, enough to meet the energy needs of almost 2,000 households as well as avoiding the atmospheric emission of over 3,800 metric tonnes of CO2 per year.
The new Sicilian plant joins the Adrano plant, in the province of Catania, which, with an installed capacity of 9 MW, is EGP’s largest plant in Italy. The Adrano plant is located on the historic site where Enel built the first concentrated solar power plant in the world in 1981.
"The addition of the Barrafranca plant marks another step in EGP’s expansion in the area of solar power,” commented Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel Green Power,“We believe that this source of energy is a key asset for Italy and even more so for Sicily, where the Group has been operating since the early 1980’s. In particular, in Catania, where our centre of excellence for research into photovoltaics is located, we are about to begin the commercial manufacture of solar panels in an equal joint venture with Sharp and STMicroelectronics”.
Enel Green Power keeps expanding in the solar energy sector, with the company adding several new plants and sites in Italy and throughout the world over the last two years. Specifically, in Italy, the company, through its joint venture with Sharp – ESSE, is about to start work to increase the installed capacity of the Serragiumenta plant in Calabria from 5 MW to 15 MW, while in Nola (Naples) EGP is completing the installation of a photovoltaic system on the rooftops of CIS – Interporto Campano, which, with 25 MW of installed capacity, will be the largest rooftop PV system in Europe, using thin-film technology.
In the United States, EGP received the green light to build the first hybrid plant in the country (and probably first in the world) to combine the continuous generation capacity of medium enthalpy, binary cycle geothermal energy with the peak solar power capacity, thereby adding 20 MW of installed photovoltaic capacity to the already existing Stillwater (Nevada) geothermal energy plant.
By José Santamarta, www.enelgreenpower.com