- With the new 256 MW section, the solar complex reached a total installed capacity of 864 MW.
- The entire park will be able to generate more than 2.0 TWh annually, avoiding the emission of about 1.3 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
- São Gonçalo is the largest solar facility currently in operation in Latin America and the first Enel plant in Brazil to use bifacial solar modules, which capture solar energy from both sides.
Rio de Janeiro – Enel Green Power Brasil, the renewable generation arm of Enel Brasil, announces the commercial operation of the São Gonçalo III solar farm (256 MW), which is the second expansion of the already operational São Gonçalo solar complex, located in the municipality of São Gonçalo do Gurguéia, in Piauí. With the new 256 MW section, the complex reached a total installed capacity in operation of 864 MW, consolidating itself as the largest solar farm currently in operation in Latin America. The construction of São Gonçalo III involved an investment of about 870 million Brazilian reais.
“The São Gonçalo solar complex is fundamental in Enel Green Power’s trajectory in Brazil and has also helped us to consolidate the Group’s ability to build and operate large-scale plants worldwide, using the industry’s most innovative technologies to accelerate the energy transition. We are proud to have, in Brazil, one of our largest solar plants in the world and the largest photovoltaic complex in operation in Latin America,” said Bruno Riga, Head of Enel Green Power in Brazil. “The commercial operation of this new park expansion reaffirms the importance of Brazil in the company’s business plans, as well as the potential for diversification of the country’s energy mix.”
São Gonçalo III solar farm (256 MW) alone will be able to generate 597 GWh annually, avoiding the emission of more than 400,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Considering the whole São Gonçalo complex (864 MW), more than 2.0 TWh of energy will be generated annually, preventing the emission of about 1.3 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. The annual energy production of the solar complex will avoid the purchase of 470 million cubic meters of gas per year, replaced by renewable energy produced in the country. São Gonçalo has a total of 2.2 million solar panels and is the first Enel plant in Brazil to use bifacial solar modules, which capture solar energy from both sides of the panel, with an expected increase in energy generation of up to 18%.
In October 2018, Enel started the construction of the São Gonçalo project, with 475 MW of installed capacity. The park was connected to the grid in January 2020. In August 2019, Enel announced the construction of the first expansion of the complex, with 133 MW of installed capacity starting operation in February 2021. The construction of the third section of the project, which is now also fully operational, was announced in December 2020.
Enel Green Power has used a range of innovative solutions in the construction of the new expansion of São Gonçalo, such as smartglasses to facilitate the sharing of images, documents, and recordings in real time between field operators and remote teams, speeding up processes and decision-making during the construction of the project.
In line with Enel Group’s commitment to Creating Shared Value (CSV), Enel Green Power has developed, since the beginning of the construction of the solar complex, in 2018, several Sustainability actions, based on ongoing dialogue with the local communities. In all, more than 5,200 residents from three municipalities in the park’s area of influence benefited from 17 initiatives in the areas of environmental education, citizenship, health, diversity, culture, and professional training. Among the actions undertaken, the company made possible the creation of a playground built with reused materials from the construction site, such as wooden pallets, applying the circular economy concept to give new uses to materials that would otherwise be discarded. In line with Enel Green Power’s “Sustainable Construction Site” model, the company also implemented initiatives at the construction sites, such as water saving and reuse actions, as well as lighting efficiency measures.
Enel Group currently has a total renewable installed capacity of around 5.0 GW in Brazil, of which more than 2.5 GW are from wind, more than 1.2 GW are from solar and about 1.3 GW from hydro.
Enel Green Power, within the Enel Group, develops and operates renewable energy plants worldwide and is present in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. A world leader in clean energy, with a total capacity of more than 56 GW and a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power, as well as energy storage facilities, Enel Green Power is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable energy plants.