Enel Green Power España (EGPE) connected the 180 MW wind farm “Tico Wind” to the grid, marking the official launch of its largest wind farm in Spain. The facility located in the town of Villar de los Navarros, province of Saragossa, involved an investment amounting to 181 million euros.
The project, whose construction began in May 2021, included training courses on panel assembly and maintenance and operation of solar plants as part of a plan to create shared value in the local communities where it operates. In Spain, the company has trained more than 2,100 people in renewal works, enabling their entry into a booming labor market.
Enel Green Power España prioritizes the hiring of local labor when constructing renewable energy facilities. During construction, peak employment involved 330 workers distributed between in-house workers and those employed by the companies participating in the project. Of those working on the construction of the facility, 30% were from Villar de los Navarros and the surrounding area.
“With this project, we are reaffirming our commitment to continue strengthening the renewable generation mix in Spain, which will help comply with the country’s green energy objectives. We are also leveraging on the abundance of renewable sources in Spain while actively promoting innovation and sustainability through the adoption of international best practices during the construction phase,” said Rafael González, Head of Enel Green Power España.
The plant will generate about 471 GWh per year, which from a sustainability point of view have the potential to avoid the equivalent of up to almost 192,200 tons of CO2 each year. At the same time, the output produced by the plant has the potential to avoid the purchase of up to 88 million cubic meters of gas from foreign sources per year, replaced by domestically produced renewable energy.
The renewable energy will be partially supplied to global medicines company Novartis, with whom Enel Green Power España, signed a 10-year pan-European Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) in 2020, covering a capacity of 78.5 MW of electricity following plant commissioning. The project will help avoid 96,000 tons of CO2 per year, helping address part of Novartis’ carbon footprint across its European operations.
“At Novartis, environmental sustainability is aligned with our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. The launch of Tico Wind marks an important milestone in our sustainability journey to be carbon neutral across our operations by 2025 and to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040,” said James Goudreau, Head of External Engagement for Environmental Sustainability at Novartis. “Energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions are the cornerstones of our strategy for reducing emissions, and we are pleased to have partners such as Enel Green Power on our side.”
This wind farm was built applying the most innovative technology, such as drones for surveying, smart tracking of turbine components, advanced digital platforms, and software solutions to remotely monitor and support activities.
Construction for this project was based on Enel Green Power’s “Sustainable Construction Site” model, which includes a series of measures to improve safety and protect the environment, reducing emissions and water consumption alongside promoting energy efficiency. The most important measures included the installation of a photovoltaic solar panel kit to partly cover the energy needs of the construction site, emergency defibrillators, use of low-consumption LED lighting and systems for the collection of rainwater in storage tanks. All these assets will be donated to the town now that the plant is operating.
Under a framework of shared value creation, training is being promoted as an engine for local employment and measures are being taken that favor recycling, taking into account aspects such as waste recovery, circular economy alongside innovation measures including the use of machinery with GPS and person detection.
In the last three years, Enel Green Power España connected 19 wind farms to the grid in Aragon, in the provinces of Teruel and Zaragoza, with a total combined capacity of 685 MW and an investment of 680 million euros.
Enel Green Power España currently manages 8,390 MW of renewable capacity installed in Spain, including 4,746 MW of hydropower, 2,546 MW of wind power, and 1,098 MW of solar power.