Enel began as a utility company in Italy, but it has expanded its presence into a total of 30 countries. Today, its Green Power subsidiary is one of the largest investors in renewable energy in the world and it is growing bigger all the time. This week, the company announced its Green Power North America subsidiary has added 50 megawatts of new capacity at its High Lonesome wind farm located in Upton and Crockett counties in Texas. It also recently connected its 105 megawatt (MW) Riverview and 29.4 MW Castle Rock Ridge II wind farms to the electrical grid in Alberta, Canada.
“The commissioning of these three new wind farms is further evidence that Enel remains committed to growing its renewable portfolio worldwide,” said Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, in a press release.
“This commitment has also been underscored by the completion of over 400 MW of renewable plants worldwide in the first quarter of the year, allowing renewables to greatly exceed conventional generation in our portfolio both in terms of capacity and production. While prioritizing health and safety, looking ahead we will continue generating new sustainable value through our emission-free energy across the globe, in accordance with the Group’s Strategic Plan.”
The investment in the construction of the 500 MW High Lonesome wind farm in Texas amounts to around $720 million. It will generate 1.9 TWh of electricity annually while avoiding more than 1.2 million tons of carbon emissions. The investment for Castle Rock Ridge II and Riverview amounts to over CAD$210 million. It will supply power to the Alberta Electric System Operator under two 20-year Renewable Energy Support Agreements. Those installations are expected to generate 493 GWh of electricity annually while avoiding approximately 335,500 tons of carbon emissions.
Enel has utilized sustainable best practices in the construction of all three wind farms. This includes recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum, ink cartridges, oil and grease, along with the use of solar-powered lights and reusable water containers for workers.
Enel Green Power currently has three other projects under construction in the United States — the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind project in Missouri, the 299 MW Aurora wind project in North Dakota, and a 245 MW second phase of its Roadrunner solar project in Texas. In all, the company expects to add 1 GW of new renewable energy capacity in the United States and Canada this year.
Hybrid Wind/Solar Power In Chile
Enel Green Power is also constructing its first hybrid renewable energy facility in Chile by adding 60.9 MW panels to an existing 90 MW wind power facility located in the Atacama Desert. The $49 million project will use 154,710 bifacial solar panels and will come online in early 2021.
EGP has specified bifacial solar panels for several other projects in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Spain. At a 382 MW solar power plant in Atacama, Chile, drones are being used to increase the accuracy of the installation while speeding up the construction process. The coronavirus pandemic has slowed, but not stopped, construction of solar and wind farms as Enel Group has devised new strategies to keep suppliers and workers safe during the building phase.