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Enel Green Power commences operation at northern Italy’s largest PV plant

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Energy Global,

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/y. 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 t of CO2 into the atmosphere and saving 29 million m3 of gas, which will be replaced with locally produced renewable energy.

The plant employs cutting-edge bifacial photovoltaic modules to maximise 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 decarbonisation 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.



For more news and technical articles from the global renewable industry, read the latest issue of Energy Global magazine.

Energy Global's Summer 2024 issue

The Summer 2024 issue of Energy Global starts with a guest comment from Terrawatt on the streamlining of the permitting process in Italy, before moving on to a regional report from Frost & Sullivan on the energy landscape in Asia Pacific. This issue looks at key topics such as wind installation vessels, offshore wind turbine foundations, weather analysis, solar maintenance, and more!

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