Energy Communities in Italy: Innovative new scalable hubs


Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) play a key role in the now unstoppable path toward energy transition: an innovative model for producing, sharing, managing, and personal consumption of energy from renewable sources, uniting citizens, businesses, and public administrations in a way that leads to economic, environmental, and social benefits.

An opportunity where the industrial sector plays an important role: the synergy among companies has led to an increase in excellent new initiatives that combine technological innovation, economic development, and environmental sustainability. This is evidenced by the launch of two new RECs, the result of a collaboration among organizations that share the same vision, aiming for energy autonomy and the increasingly widespread distribution of renewables in Italy.

One of these partnerships is the collaboration between Enel X and Ferrari that will lead to the creation of Italy's first Renewable Energy Community supported by an industrial company: an avant-garde system that creates value in the local area and in all the country.

The REC, serving the municipalities of Fiorano and Maranello, will be entirely powered by a photovoltaic plant with a capacity of approximately 1 MW that will be constructed by Enel X on a plot of land that is about 10,000 m² in size – made available by the iconic Prancing Horse brand – located adjacent to the Fiorano Circuit.

Relying on the best technologies on the market, such as single-axis trackers and ultra-high-performance, double-sided photovoltaic panels, the system will generate an average production of around 1,500 MWh over 20 years, eliminating about 650 tons of CO2 emissions each year.

Efficiency, sustainability, and modularity: these are the key words behind this new energy hub, scalable in other areas (identified by Enel X or provided by Ferrari) to exponentially increase the amount of energy produced and lead to even more benefits for the entire region. Actually, public or private entities in Fiorano and Maranello will be able to join the new REC, choosing to consume renewable energy or becoming producers themselves, installing and connecting their own photovoltaic panels to the grid.

The project represents a further expression of the solid partnership between Enel X and Ferrari, that has already led to the creation of a photovoltaic plant at the Maranello headquarters and an innovative carport entirely powered by solar energy and built specifically to charge the first Ferrari hybrid and full-electric cars.

The other virtuous example is the partnership between Enel X and FICEI, Italian Federation of Industrialization Consortia and Bodies, in the Industrial Development Area (IDA) of Buccino, in the province of Salerno. 

This is the first example nationally involving companies in the same industrial development area: a model that can be replicated in other IDAs represented by FICEI, serving as driving force for further business initiatives.

Developed by analyzing the energy needs of companies in the area – particularly those that are more energy-hungry or that operate in hard-to-abate sectors – the Buccino REC is powered by two photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of 1.6 MW, which will produce for 20 years about 1,250 MWh of clean, renewable energy, ensuring a reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere equal to 807,000 kg on an annual basis.

This result is possible thanks also to the efforts of the Magaldi Group, a founding member of the Buccino REC, which provides state-of-the-art batteries for storage, a crucial element for community optimization and efficiency.

Again, this partnership follows on the heels of an already established collaboration – between Enel X and the Magaldi Group – leading to the creation of an innovative storage system known as MGTES, a sand battery powered by a photovoltaic plant, which can store energy and release it in the form of high-temperature steam.

From the south to the north of Italy, these two examples show how autonomy and energy transition can be accelerated only with ever more involvement by all areas of society, called upon to work together to find innovative ways to produce and consume energy more efficiently, sustainably and responsibly.