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abr 06, 2017

Brazil will host the largest solar plant in Latin America

Brazil is about to put its sunny climate to sustainable use. The Italian sustainable electric company Enel Green Power has announced it will launch production of its massive solar plant in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. 

Called the “Ituverava" plant, the project received investments of up to $400 million, according to the company. The Ituverava plant has the solar capacity of 254 megawatts.

In addition to the Ituverava, Enel is currently building an even bigger solar plant in Brazil's northern state of Piauí, called the “Nova Olinda” complex. The plant is located in an elevated territory with high levels of solar radiation. Even more powerful than the Ituverava plant, the Nova Olinda will have the capacity to produce 292 megawatts. 

“The beginning of the construction of Nova Olinda is yet another step forward for our group in Brazil, confirming our leadership in the solar energy market in the country,” said Carlo Zorzoli, Enel’s country manager in Brazil. “The Brazilian government has developed an attractive process that is a well-structured auction market. We have built our success in the country with a foundation in our leading technology, financial excellence and a reputation for sustainable engagement with stakeholders. We will continue to invest growing within the country's energy sector in a solid manner.” 

Once in operation, the Nova Olinda will beat the Ituverava plant as the largest solar energy facility in Latin America. Investments in the second project are estimated at $300 million. The Nova Olinda plant is also capable of producing over 600 GWh annually. 

The Committee to Monitor the Electric Sector (CMSE) foresees the operation launch for the Ituverava plant for May of 2017, and the Nova Olinda plant for July. These projects address a growth in Brazil's energy demand in a sustainable way. Following the plant’s operation, 300,000 Brazilian households will switch to solar energy. The plant occupies an area of 690 hectares, and will avoid the emission of about 350,000 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

In addition to the Ituverava and Nova Olinda plants, Enel also maintains a third major solar plant in Brazil, Fontes Solar, at 11 megawatts. 

And Enel’s not even close to done in Brazil. “We have a lot more to construct in Brazil this year,” said Francesco Venturini, Enel’s president, on a social media post.