Enel X to build 22MW self-consumption PV plant at Rome’s Fiumicino airport

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The project will be completed by 2024. Image: Enel X

Italian utility Enel Group’s subsidiary Enel X has secured a tender to build a 22MW photovoltaic plant at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, claiming it would be the largest self-consumption PV system at an airport in Europe.

Located parallel to runway no. 3 at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, Enel X and infrastructure developer Circet SpA will build the facility covering a 340,000-square-metre area with a capacity of 22MW. When operating at full capacity, the plant will produce around 32GWh of power per year.

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“We are pursuing one of the most ambitious initiatives in our journey towards sustainable development. We believe that Italy’s top companies can and must work together in order to transform and relaunch this sector, which is of strategic importance for our country, and to help mitigate climate change,” said Marco Troncone, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR).

According to Enel X, the PV system will comprise about 55,000 PV modules as well as related facilities, substations and electrical conduits. Construction will begin later this year, and the system will be completed in 2024. The new solar energy plant will be complemented with a 10MWh capacity storage system based on electric vehicle batteries in their second-life cycle.

The solar plant and storage system are elements of the partly EU-funded PIONEER airport sustainability second-life battery storage project. The main objectives of the project include the development and construction of a mobile test bench for the characterisation and qualification of battery systems, and the integration of 2nd life batteries from several car manufacturers with inhomogeneous key characteristics into a safe and reliable power system.

Francesco Venturini, CEO of Enel X, added: “This operation has never been attempted before in an airport setting, and our leadership in developing cutting-edge technologies in the energy sector will enable us to significantly contribute to reducing Fiumicino Airport’s emissions.”

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