The Enel Group’s Brazilian renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power Brasil Participações has started construction of the 133MW expansion of the São Gonçalo solar park, located in São Gonçalo do Gurguéia, in Brazil’s northeastern state of Piauí.
The expansion brings the overall capacity of São Gonçalo to 608MW, a company statement noted.
The Group will invest around €100 million ($111 million), in the construction of the new 133MW section.
Antonio Cammisecra, the head of Enel Green Power, said: “We are further expanding São Gonçalo, South America’s largest solar plant currently under construction, reinforcing our commitment to boost our renewable capacity in Brazil, where we are the main player in both solar and wind in terms of installed capacity and project portfolio.
“São Gonçalo’s production profile will further benefit from our innovation leadership, including through state-of-the-art generation technologies. The plant will dedicate a significant portion of its output, including the entire production from its new expansion, to Brazil’s free energy market, which is increasingly attractive to renewable investors.”
The 608MW São Gonçalo solar plant is due to start operations in 2020, the construction of its first 475MW section having started in October 2018. Out of São Gonçalo’s overall installed capacity:
- 343MW, including the 133MW from the new section and a 210MW portion from the first section, are supported by power supply contracts negotiated with corporate customers in the Brazilian free energy market;
- 265MW from the first section are supported by 20-year power supply contracts with a pool of distribution companies operating in the country’s regulated market.
Once fully operational, the expansion of the solar park will be able to generate around 360GWh per year, while avoiding the emission of around 207,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
With the expansion up and running, the entire 608MW plant will be capable of generating more than 1,500GWh annually, avoiding the emission of over 860,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
The São Gonçalo plant is Enel’s first plant in Brazil to use bifacial solar modules that capture solar energy from both sides of the panel. The innovative modules are expected to increase power generation up to 18%.