Enel Starts Operation of 475 MW of Solar Capacity in Brazil

Enel Group’s Brazilian renewable subsidiary has started operations of the 475 MW section of São Gonçalo solar PV plant in the northeastern state of Piauí

Enel 475 MW Solar

The Enel Group’s Brazilian renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participações Ltda. (EGPB) has started operations of the 475 MW section of São Gonçalo solar PV plant, located in São Gonçalo do Gurguéia, in Brazil’s northeastern state of Piauí.

The connection to the grid of São Gonçalo, which is South America’s largest PV facility, took place a year ahead of the deadline set by the rules of the 2017 A-4 public tender organised by the Brazilian federal government through the country’s energy regulator Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica (ANEEL). The construction of the 475 MW section of the solar plant involved an investment of around 1.4 billion Brazilian reais, equivalent to approximately 390 million US dollars.  

“Bringing online our largest solar facility in Brazil long before the deadline is a major milestone for our operations in the country, confirming our leadership and expertise in the Brazilian photovoltaic market. São Gonçalo’s completion also underscores our ability to quickly and efficiently deliver impressive solar projects while upholding the highest safety standards in all our worksites throughout the construction process,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power

“We will continue to play a key role in the development of Brazil’s photovoltaic sector, which is central to the diversification and resilience of the country’s generation mix.”

São Gonçalo is Enel’s first plant in Brazil to use bifacial solar modules that capture solar energy from both sides of the panel, with an expected increase in power generation of up to 18 percent. Once fully up and running, the 475 MW section of the plant will be able to generate over 1,200 GWh per year while avoiding the emission of over 600,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Out of 475 MW of installed capacity, 265 MW are supported by 20-year power supply contracts with a pool of distribution companies operating in the country’s regulated market. The remaining 210 MW are expected to generate energy for the free market.

Last August, the firm had announced the start of construction of the 133 MW extension of the São Gonçalo solar park, for which Enel is investing around 422 million Brazilian reais (approx. 110 million US dollars) and is supported by power supply contracts negotiated with corporate customers in the Brazilian free energy market. The expansion, which brings the overall capacity of São Gonçalo to 608 MW, is due to start operations in 2020. Once fully operational, the entire 608 MW plant will be capable of generating more than 1,500 GWh annually, avoiding the emission of over 860,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. 

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.