Eni to build 220 MW of solar at its Italian facilities

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Italian oil company, Eni has presented its Strategic Plan for the four-year period 2018-2021, which includes the construction of 220 MW of solar power plants at several of the group’s industrial sites in Italy.

These projects, the company said in its statement, are expected to start commercial operations in 2021 and to produce approximately 0.4 TWh per year. For the so-called Progetto Italia, it has already identified 25 industrial sites that could potentially host the power plants. The renewable energy produced by the project, Eni further explained, will be used to power its industrial assets.

The first phase of the project entails the construction of five solar plants totaling 70 MW, while the second phase will see another 150 MW deployed across nine systems. The company’s total installed generation capacity from renewable energies is expected to reach 463 MW by 2020.

“Italy is the country in which we are planning to invest the most: €7 billion over the next 4 years, of which €1 billion has been earmarked for green activities, including research and development expenditure for the decarbonisation process,” the group added.

In terms of R&D activities in the renewable energy sector, Eni is currently focusing on solar power, energy storage, advanced biofuels, biomass and wind power. “Among the most significant results we have achieved in the field of solar energy, has been the excellent laboratory performance of flexible polymer cells (> 9% efficiency) and an absolute record in the laboratory for the performance of luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) integrated in buildings (with 7.4% efficiency),” reads the company’s website.

Eni only recently entered the renewable energy business, in an effort to diversify its business. After setting up its new Energy Solutions department in 2015, the company announced in September of last year that it will cooperate with Algeria’s Sonatrach, a government-backed power company, under the guise of GSA (Sonatrach-Agip Groupement), to build a 10 MW PV plant in the country. Eni is also planning to build a 20 MW solar plant in Ghana.