The Enel Group's Brazilian renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participacoes Ltda. (EGPB) started construction of a 475-megawatt solar park in northeastern Brazil, the Italian energy group announced Monday.
Located in Sao Goncalo do Gurgueia in the state of Piaui, the Sao Goncalo solar park is the largest PV facility currently under construction in South America, according to a statement from Enel.
The group will be investing around 1.4 billion Brazilian reais, equivalent to approximately $390 million, in the construction of the facility, which is expected to start operations in 2020.
According to the statement, once fully up and running, the plant will be able to generate over 1,200 gigawatt-hours per year while avoiding the emission of over 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
"The start of construction of this PV plant strengthens our leadership in the Brazilian renewable energy sector and confirms once again the importance we give to the development of solar energy in the country," said Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power, the Enel Group’s global renewable energy business line.
"Sao Goncalo will further contribute to the diversification and resilience of the country's energy mix, supporting a virtuous, economic cycle through the long-term supply of sustainable energy," he added.
Out of Sao Goncalo's 475 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity, 388 MW were awarded to the Enel Group in Brazil's A-4 public tender in December 2017 and are supported by 20-year power supply contracts with a pool of distribution companies operating in the country’s regulated market. The remaining 87 MW are expected to generate energy for the free market.
In Brazil, the Enel Group, through its subsidiaries EGPB and Enel Brasil, has a total installed renewable capacity of more than 2.9 gigawatts (GW), of which 842 MW is generated from wind power, 820 MW from solar PV and 1,269 MW from hydro. In addition, EGPB has more than 1 GW in execution in Brazil awarded in 2017 tenders.
By Hale Turkes