Enel Green Power breaks ground on 170MW agrivoltaics project in Italy

Enel Green Power carried out agriPV tests in 2021 at nine pilot projects in Spain, Greece and Italy. Image: Enel Green Power.

Italian renewable energy group Enel Green Power has started construction of a 170MW agrivoltaics solar PV plant in Italy.

The project, dubbed as the largest agriPV in the country, according to Enel, will be located in the city of Tarquinia, north of Rome.

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Bifacial modules will be used for the plant which will combine agricultural activities with olive trees planted around the perimeter, while fodder and borage will be grown in vacant areas near the rows of solar panels and in buffer zones of overhead power lines.

Construction of the project is expected to last for 13 months, with up to 330 people employed for the agriPV project.

Enel starting construction of the 170MW agriPV projects continues the company’s interest in the technology after launching a research programme in 2021 with nine pilot projects in Spain, Greece and Italy to explore the integration of large-scale solar PV projects with arable and pastoral farming activities.

AgriPV projects have had an increased interest in Italy, with the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies (Mipaaf) launching last year a €1.5 billion scheme to incentivise agriPV projects across the country with a target to add 375MW of solar PV capacity, while energy giant Statkraft partnered with Italian universities to explore the potential of the technology in Europe.

Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power, said: “The solar plant we are building in Tarquinia shows that an increase in the use of renewable energy can be harmoniously combined with agricultural activities. In fact, this plant will seamlessly integrate with the local area and will host crops, resulting in a positive impact on the environment, the economy and the local area, as well as helping to reduce Italy’s energy dependency.”

Moreover, the company’s presence in Italy is not only at the downstream level, as it recently received a €560 million (US$609 million) investment for its 3GW bifacial heterojunction module assembly plant for which Enel expects to have 400MW of annual capacity operational in September 2023.

The latest edition of PV Tech Power‘s main feature has a comprehensive coverage of agrivoltaics with a look at different markets including the US, Australia and several European countries. PV Tech Power 34 can be read here.

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