Enel Green Power puts into operation northern Italy’s largest photovoltaic plant in Trino, leading the energy transition

An innovative energy transition and redevelopment project has been successfully completed with the full support of the local authorities and community: Trino, in the province of Vercelli, in the Piedmont region, is now home to the largest operating solar farm in northern Italy. The project, implemented on the site by Enel Green Power, involved the construction of a photovoltaic plant equipped with state-of-the-art storage technology. Trino’s history sets a record in renewable energy and proves that the site has played a major role in Italian energy history: in fact, until 1987, the site was home to one of the four second-generation nuclear power plants operating in Italy, and later to the country’s first combined cycle power plant. Today, 160,000 photovoltaic panels harness the sun’s energy to produce zero-emission electricity on the very same site where the cooling towers of the old thermoelectric plant, which closed in 2013, still stand.

The solar farm has an installed capacity of about 87 MW and will produce approximately 130 GWh per year. In terms of its environmental impact, it will provide green energy to meet the energy needs of roughly 47,000 households, therefore avoiding the emission of 56,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and saving 29 million cubic meters of gas, which will be replaced with locally produced renewable energy.

The plant employs cutting-edge bifacial photovoltaic modules to maximize renewable energy generation. It is integrated with a 25 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) with a storage capacity of 100 MWh, which will ensure proper operation of the electrical system and will provide ancillary services to the grid. Furthermore, an additional, larger storage system is scheduled for installation at the site in the near future.

Once again, Trino is playing a key role in energy generation by taking a sustainable and forward-looking approach in line with Italian, European and global emission reduction and decarbonization targets. This has also been made possible thanks to the local residents who have helped fund the project through the ‘Scelta Rinnovabile’ (‘Renewable Choice’) crowdfunding campaign launched by Enel Green Power in 2022. Thanks to widespread participation, the fundraising target was met and vastly exceeded, with the final amount raised being 150% of the initial target. Following plant commissioning, the local residents involved in the initiative will begin to recoup their investment.

The relationship with the local community is a fundamental aspect of Enel Green Power’s commitment, which will entail a series of initiatives in the area surrounding the solar farm, such as reforestation and the architectural restoration and renovation of several historic buildings in Borgo Leri-Cavour, which was formerly the summer residence of the Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour.

The construction of the plant is part of Enel’s wider strategy to promote the development of renewable energy sources. In fact, the Group plans to invest more than 12 billion euros worldwide over the next three years to achieve this goal. Enel is decisively accelerating this journey: in fact, the Group’s global ‘emission-free’ electricity generation reached a record level of 82% in the first quarter of 2024.