The Enel Group operates around 100 solar photovoltaic plants with a total net efficient capacity of 329 MW as of the end of September 2014. In 2013 net generation amounted to 304 GWh.
Solar photovoltaic power generating facilities of the Enel Group includes operating and under construction plants in 7 countries: Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, United States, Chile and South Africa.
In order to increase the sustainability and efficiency of its power generating facilities, the Enel Group makes investments and performs operations aimed to achieve various improvements. Ordinary and extraordinary management and modernisation activities at solar photovoltaic plants involve in particular:
- Increase of generation efficiency indices;
- increase of plant load factor;
- optimisation of energy generation;
- optimisation of operations and maintenance, also by using predictive computer applications for information on weather conditions and equipment monitoring;
- reduction of direct and indirect environmental impact;
- protection of biodiversity;
Recently introduced innovations at the Enel Group’s solar PV power generating facilities involve in particular:
- the achievement of Diamante, a plant equipped with an integrated solar energy generation and storage system, and of the Triangle-based Omni-purpose Building (TOB), a system to generate energy in remote areas consisting of wooden stand alone modules integrated into solar PV panels and storage batteries;
- thin-film solar PV panels manufactured at the 3Sun factory and used at the Group’s plants in Africa and Latin America;
- studies conducted at Enel’s laboratory in Catania on DSSC (Dye Sensitized Solar Cells) e LSC (Luminescence Solar Concentrator) solar PV modules and for the implementation of predictive models for module degradation;
The Enel Group also manages operating and under construction concentrated solar plants:
- in Italy, within the Archimede project, for the first time in the world a concentrated solar plant was integrated into a gas combined cycle;
- in the United States a 17 MW concentrated solar plant is being built at the Stillwater geothermal facility.
Also, the experimentation of Trinum, a concentrated solar co-generation system that can simultaneously supply 1 kW of electricity capacity at 230 V and 3 kW of thermal capacity is taking place.