Rome, 10 July 2008 Enel has deposited the project design for one of the first off-shore wind farms in the Mediterranean Sea. The request for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been delivered by Enel to the Ministry of the Environment and the Region of Sicily.
Italys first off-shore wind facility will foresee the installation of 115 large generators with a capacity of between 3 and 5 megawatts each in the waters of the Gulf of Gela at least 3 nautical miles off-shore, between the towns of Licata (in the province of Agrigento), Butera and Gela (both in the province of Caltanissetta).
The project, developed through a joint venture between Enel (57%) and Moncada Costruzioni (43%), will have a total installed capacity of between 345 and 575 MW. The maximum cost of the investment will be about 500 million euros. Once fully operational, the plant will generate 1,150 million KWh of power, enough to meet the needs of 390,000 households, avoiding CO2 emissions of about 815,000 metric tons a year.
This innovative project, said Fulvio Conti, will double Enels installed capacity in the wind sector in Italy. It is an example of virtuous co-operation among companies, local institutions and environmental associations. Enels committment to renewable sources is significant and it is experiencing a continuous and solid growth. Today, Enels emissions-free generation already represents about 30% of the total. We believe in wind power and we want to play a leading role in developing this energy source in Italy as well.
The towers, which will be equipped with rotors with a diameter of about 110 metres, will be more than 100 metres tall and anchored to the sea bed in waters up to 30 metres deep. Studies are also being conducted to develop systems integrating the wind farm with the marine areas where it will be built in order to ensure protection of local ecosystems.
At the end of 2007 Enels installed wind capacity in Italy had risen to 325 MW. The target set out in the new 2008-2012 business plan is to increase this figure five-fold, to reach about 1,500 MW of wind power installed in Italy by 2012.
The construction of the new marine wind farm in Sicily is part of Enels Environment and Innovation Project, which envisages investments of 7.4 billion euros between 2008 and 2012, of which 6.8 billion euros for the development of renewable energy sources and 600 million euros for research and development of innovative technologies, such as high-efficiency solar power, off-shore wind power, hydrogen generation and CO2 capture and sequestration.
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