Roma, December 4th 2009 - Today the Nuova Lagoni Rossi power plant entered into service, thus adding 12 MW to installed geothermal capacity in the Larderello area operated by Enel Green Power, the Enel company fully dedicated to the development and operation of renewables.
Once the plant is operating at full capacity, it will be able to generate about 100 million kWh of power annually, equivalent to the consumption of 40,000 households half the population of the city of Pisa and each year will avoid the atmospheric emission of about 75,000 tonnes of CO2, the greenhouse gas considered the main responsible for climate change. It will also save fossil fuel consumption of 23,000 tons of oil equivalent (toe).
The project is an example of Enel Green Power's cutting-edge know-how in the geothermal field, expertise developed over more than one hundred years of development and operation of this renewable source in Italy. The project, which was implemented by the company's in-house engineering staff, boasts innovative features that place the plant at the forefront of technological development in its category. The plant is also equipped with an innovative system for remote monitoring and diagnostics, which enables full remote control of the unit and prevention of possible malfunctions. The plant complies with the highest environmental and landscape impact standards.
In Tuscany, Enel Green Power the Enel company devoted to renewables, an industry leader in Europe with an output of more than 17 billion kWh has, with the two new plants Sasso 2 and Lagoni Rossi, an installed geothermal generation capacity of about 842 MW, placing the region first in Europe. The 32 geothermal plants, with an output of over 5 billion kWh, meet a quarter of regional energy consumption and meet the power needs of 2 million households, saving 1.1 million toe of fuel.
These numbers are set to grow following the agreement with the Region of Tuscany for the sustainable development of geothermal energy use, the improvement of steam extraction technologies, the enhancement of the areas where the geothermal fields are located and environmental protection.
Enel Green Power applies the latest technologies in Tuscany and sees potential for further growth of up to 200 MW. The company is backing this commitment to developing geothermal power in the area with major investments in research and technological innovation projects and plans.
Finally, with the "Innovative Geothermal" project, Enel Green Power aims to make use of untapped fields and to integrate low-temperature geothermal resources with other renewable resources, especially solar and biomass.
Enel Green Power applies Italian geothermal technology in other parts of the world as well. In Nevada, the innovative Stillwater and Salt Wells medium-enthalpy facilities (they operate at temperatures of between 130 and 150 C° using binary cycle technology) received incentives of over 61.5 million US dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's "1603 Program" aimed at fostering the development of renewables and creating new jobs in the clean energy field. In Chile, in cooperation with the national oil company Enap, Enel Green Power is exploring a number of promising areas that could potentially produce power in excess of 100 MW. In El Salvador, the company has built its first geothermal power plant abroad, Berlin III, with a capacity of 44 MW and an output of about 320 million kWh per year.
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