The “Malvezzi solar park”, the first photovoltaic power plant that sees the active involvement of the local community, is now operational in Poggio Renatico, in the province of Ferrara (Emilia-Romagna), thanks to the online crowdfunding initiative “Scelta Rinnovabile” (Renewable Choice) promoted by Enel Green Power.
The opening ceremony of the new plant, which will support the country’s energy transition with a capacity of around 17 MW, was attended by Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, Nicola Lanzetta, Director of Italy at Enel Group, and Daniele Garuti, Mayor of Poggio Renatico.
The solar farm was built on a plot of land of approximately 22 hectares and consists of more than 30,000 modules. It will produce approximately 25 GWh each year, making it possible to avoid the annual emissions of 11,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and the consumption of 5.4 million cubic meters of gas, replacing it with locally produced renewable energy. The system is made up of four contiguous sections and features bifacial modules that absorb energy from both sides of the solar panel, which are mounted on solar trackers that follow the movement of the sun, thereby optimizing energy production.
Launched in October 2021 and aimed at getting local communities involved in developing green energy in the areas where new renewable energy plants are being built, the “Scelta Rinnovabile” program has attracted massive support, with a large number of residents of Poggio Renatico taking part in the online fundraising campaign. Those who participated were initially asked to freely choose how much they wanted to invest, according to their preferences, and benefited from a rate of return on financing plus repayment of invested capital. The fundraising campaign to build the photovoltaic power plant in this municipality in the Emilia-Romagna region was later extended to all citizens across the country and ended successfully as the target was met within just a few hours.
“If it is true that renewable energy will be of key importance for our communities in the near future, then we must start investing heavily now,” says Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government. “We, the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government, are working on this, and today’s initiative shows that productive cooperation between the public and private sectors can be achieved in this field as well. In this case, the added value is the active involvement of the inhabitants of Poggio Renatico, which makes this project all the more valuable and important.”
“The increasing use of renewables is a strategic lever for Italy’s independence and energy security, in addition to benefitting the environment and the local areas,” comments Nicola Lanzetta, Director of Italy at Enel Group. “We have a tangible example of this here in Poggio Renatico, through the ‘Scelta Rinnovabile’ initiative, citizens had the opportunity to actively contribute to the construction of the new plant and to play a part in the energy transition.”
“The ongoing crisis has challenged us to address our energy needs,” comments Mayor, Daniele Garuti. “We realized that we needed to focus on producing energy from renewable sources without further hesitation, and we were pleased to support Enel Green Power’s photovoltaic park project, which will enhance an area that had already been allocated to production activities. The ‘Scelta Responsabile’ initiative was very well received and highly appreciated by our community, in addition to showing that locals are proud to be part of this project that combines energy needs and environmental protection.”
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 59 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.