Renewable Energy Made in Enel Built to Last

Published on Monday, 2 February 2015

There are many ways to tell the story of green energy: you can describe a plant by the number of turbines or solar panels it has, by its installed capacity or the kilowatt-hours it generates each year, by the CO2 emissions it helps cut or by the number of consumers who will use its electricity. Once a wind farm or PV solar park has been put into service, we tend to focus on generation, while the workers, technological solutions, timescale and investment needed to build it are soon forgotten.

Enel's new renewable energy plants offer a significant amount of data that aids understanding of the importance of how a plant that helps growth in the green energy industry is built and operates. The Fontes de Los Ventos wind farm, which Enel Green Power connected to Brazil's distribution network in December, has 34 turbines, 80 megawatts of installed capacity and produces 320 million kilowatt-hours per year. But another important number is the €130 million investment needed for the construction of the plant, which will also supply energy to both the free and regulated market within a long-term Power Purchase Agreement. This year it will be the first wind power facility in Brazil to be combined with two solar parks that will have an overall capacity of 11MW.

The growth objectives for EGP established in the 2014-2018 business plan predict an additional capacity of 4.6 gigawatts, and the constant opening of new plants and worksites and the launching of new projects, including hydropower facilities in Europe and Latin America that are managed by Group companies, show the breadth of expansion of renewable energy taking place within the Enel Group.

The continued growth of installed green energy capacity isn't the only thing that highlights the effectiveness and solidity of the business plan. The load factor increase in different green technologies – from 31 percent to 33 percent in wind power between the first quarter of 2013 and the same period the following year – compliance with construction time and costs limits, as well as the optimised management of operating facilities are crucial to growth, just as important as data on installed and additional capacity. And it's all of these elements together that turn the Group's green energy production into an global benchmark.