Inauguration of the “Malvezzi Solar Park,” the first photovoltaic plant made with people’s active involvement

Published on Sunday, 26 March 2023

More than 30,000 panels with a capacity of approximately 17 MW and a production of 25 GWh each year. These are the numbers of the “Malvezzi Solar Park”, the first photovoltaic power plant made with the active participation of the local community, thanks to the crowdfunding initiative “Scelta Rinnovabile” (Renewable Choice) promoted by Enel Green Power.

The new plant, inaugurated on March 24 in Poggio Renatico in the province of Ferrara, was built on approximately 22 hectares of land and consists of four contiguous sections with more than 30,000 bifacial modules with a technology that allows the panels to absorb energy from both sides, maximizing the efficiency. Furthermore, the photovoltaic modules were mounted on solar trackers, a system by which the panels automatically orient themselves to track the sun and optimize energy production throughout the course of the day.

The solar park will produce approximately 25 GWh each year and at the same time it will prevent the emission of 11,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and the consumption of 5.4 million cubic meters of gas, replacing it entirely with locally produced, clean and renewable energy.

“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,” commented Nicola Lanzetta, Director of Italy. “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.”

Launched in October 2021, the program “Scelta Rinnovabile” (Renewable Choice) was in fact created with the precise intent of involving local communities in developing the renewable energy market by proposing to citizens in the territories that will host the new plants the possibility to actively finance their construction and benefit economically from their production. In particular, there was an overwhelming response to the online fundraising campaign by the citizens of this municipality in the Emilia-Romagna region. Citizens chose the investment amount based on their own preferences and benefited from a rate of return on the financing plus repayment of the invested capital. The fundraising campaign to build the “Malvezzi Solar Park” was later extended to all citizens across the country and the set target was met within just a few hours.

This successful initiative shows the growing awareness of Italian communities towards the opportunities offered by renewable sources, which are the safest, most reliable and cost-effective alternatives to fossil fuels. The green energy sector is proving that it is capable of combining economic growth, sustainable development and environmental protection.

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