- The Enel Green Power hydroelectric plant in Capodacqua (Province of Ascoli Piceno), damaged by the 2016 earthquake, is once again producing renewable energy. Work has been completed on the plant, which has been completely renovated with a focus on sustainability and circular economy
Arquata del Tronto (AP), March 30th, 2023 – After five years of stoppage due to the earthquake and about two years of work that began in 2021, Enel Green Power has given new life to its Capodacqua hydroelectric plant, now completely restructured with a focus on environmental sustainability, innovation and the circular economy. A promise kept that marks the rebirth and projection into the future of an area torn apart by the 2016 earthquake. Hope is rekindled, unleashing new energy, in the small area of Capodacqua, in the municipality of Arquata del Tronto (Province of Ascoli Piceno, Marche Region), with the commissioning and production of renewable energy at the hydro facility.
The plant, which is more than 100 years old with an installed power of 300kW and started producing energy again a few days ago, is able to meet the energy needs of about 400 families. The facility is an integral part of the small village in Ascoli Piceno, nestled between the Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga Gran Sasso National Parks, and has been rebuilt twice in its lifetime: first following the bombings that razed it to the ground during World War II, and then after the more recent seismic events of August 24th, 2016 and October 30th, 2016.
Today, the small power plant, which is part of the Tronto river basin together with five other Enel Green Power Italia plants located between Lazio and Marche (Scandarella, Venamartello, Capodiponte, Castellano and Ascoli Porta Romana), is a concrete example of circular economy and green building: in fact, to reduce its environmental impact and improve its seismic resistance, the load-bearing structure has been rebuilt from wood and its waste products, using rice husks as insulation; the floors will be made with tiles recovered from the earthquake rubble, through a virtuous recycling and reuse circle, by way of a joint project between the University of Camerino and two local companies.
Leveraging on a hydraulic head of about 70 meters and a flow rate of 500 liters per second, the run-of-river plant produces renewable energy capable of avoiding about 800 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The plant will also be equipped with solar panels produced by Enel Green Power's Catania 3Sun factory.
“Today is an important day for our company and for the people of Capodacqua. To give a concrete sign of our closeness to the territory, it was important for us to put this plant, which is an integral part of this community, back into operation,” says Luca Solfaroli Camillocci, head of Enel Green Power Italia. “Sustainability also means being present, listening and meeting people's expectations and needs. When working on the reconstruction we discovered that there is a very strong link between the plant and the local area, and we hope that the relaunch of our plant can encourage the people of Capodacqua, just as their enthusiasm supported us throughout the planning and construction phases.”
"This is a truly significant day for the community of Capodacqua and for the entire municipality of Arquata,” says Guido Castelli, Extraordinary Commissioner for Earthquake 2016 Regeneration and Reconstruction. "A day in which reconstruction and economic regeneration come together in the pursuit of rebirth and development. The historic hydroelectric plant of Enel Green Power, which I thank for its commendable work and effort, will be able to serve 400 families. This means that we are sending a clear message to the communities that have suffered so deeply: step by step we will get back to normal, so stay here in the lands that you love. Finally, the eco-sustainability of the plant makes it a model of green development, up to date with the times, and respectful of the specificity of the places that host us.”
“The Municipal Administration of Arquata del Tronto welcomes the rebirth of the Capodacqua hydroelectric plant with hope and enthusiasm,” says Mayor Michele Franchi. “We would like to thank Enel Green Power for having started the project without delay and for wanting to invest in the territory. This is an important signal for the reconstruction of our land, whose rebirth also depends on economic and eco-sustainable investments.”
In addition to the reconstruction of the power plant, in Arquata del Tronto further interventions involving other companies of the Enel Group have been completed, are in progress or planned, such as the free provision of 256 LED lighting fixtures. The first five of these have been switched on in the small square in Capodacqua, artistic lighting systems that will enhance the power plant, as well as help rebuild, upgrade and digitize part of the local distribution network, and aid the continuous development of the network of charging infrastructures for electric cars.
Enel Green Power®, within the Enel Group, develops and operates renewable energy plants worldwide and is present in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. A world leader in clean energy, with a total capacity of more than 59 GW and a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power, as well as energy storage facilities, Enel Green Power is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable energy plants.