Montalto di Castro: from power station to smart village

Published on Friday, 17 August 2018

The “Marina della Tuscia” project is set to transform Enel’s Alessandro Volta power station in Montalto di Castro.

As part of the Futur-e project, Enel Produzione and Studio Amati Architetti signed a letter of intent on 13 August that initiated a process to study the implementation programme of the project proposal – which has already obtained consensus from the relevant institutions – to verify whether the conditions and prerequisites needed to sign a preliminary contract for sale of the entire site are in place. A fundamental step forward for a project that will see the creation of the first Smart Village in the Mediterranean area, an example of the repurposing of an industrial facility that brilliantly reflects the circular economy principles at the heart of the Futur-e project.

The conversion project for the Montalto di Castro power station site, which is located in the Tuscia area (known in ancient times as Etruria) on a stretch of Tyrrhenian coastline between Lazio and Tuscany, will see the creation of a tourist hub that also targets boating and yachting enthusiasts with a marina complete with berthing and a boatyard, a year-round destination that will incorporate retail and entertainment activities, a wellness village with guest accommodation, services to the community, a farm project, a sports centre and a hospitality area with innovative hotels and residences. 

Another step towards the future

The proposal put forward by Studio Amati Architetti, an architectural and engineering firm with vast experience in urban repurposing and conversion, including tourist-focused projects, was selected by Enel Produzione in the context of the Futur-e project for the Alessandro Volta power station in 2016. 

The repurposing of the Montalto di Castro power station is an ambitious project that has the potential to offer exciting new opportunities to the local area by redesigning a 200-hectare-plus site and equipping it to serve a completely new purpose. For the initiative to succeed, it is vital that the teamwork between Enel, Studio Amati and the local institutions continues, in part to attract investment, business excellence and the leading companies in the sectors being targeted for the site’s development: tourist hospitality, boat and yacht builders, retail and construction. Studio Amati has already received a large number of expressions of interest from qualified national and international partners. Enel, on the other hand, has presented the project at various international business events in Beijing, New York, Paris and London.

This work will continue in the coming months in collaboration with all the stakeholders, with the aim of turning the decommissioning of the power station into a new opportunity for the local area.

From power station to smart village

The Marina della Tuscia project will see the entire power station site repurposed; this will also involve the functional and aesthetic upgrading of existing structures as their re-use is the best way of creating tangible development opportunities that will deliver both short and long-term economic and social impacts. From a circular economy perspective, the project will maximise the re-use of the existing buildings, not least the former nuclear plant structures which can be re-purposed as commercial and hospitality spaces where visitors can gather, thereby acting as an economic driver for the marina. The former station’s big chimney will also be retained as a symbol of the conversion and used for video projections as well as information, artistic and commercial purposes. The demolition work will thus focus solely on structures for which no future use can be found. The surrounding landscape will benefit from the reduction in the volume of buildings present and the addition of another stretch of water in the form of the new marina. The latter will cover around 40 hectares and make use of the power station’s seawater intake canal.

Montalto di Castro project competition

In May 2016, Enel issued a competition notice for purchase and conversion projects for the Montalto di Castro power station. A Selection Committee comprising the Municipality, Regional and Provincial authorities, Tuscia University, the Milan Polytechnic and Enel, was charged with evaluating the suitability of the submitted projects based on social, environmental and economic sustainability criteria. The Committee completed its work in April 2017. 

That process revealed three projects of merit, while a series of further negotiations, meetings and technical discussions led to the drafting of the letter of intent for the “Marina della Tuscia” project, and the start of a new life for the Montalto di Castro power station.

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