Enel plans to invest up to $550m in geothermal plants in Tuscany, Italy

Sasso 2 geothermal plant by Enel Green Power, Tuscany, Italy (source: Volcanex)
Alexander Richter 20 Jan 2016

Enel Green Power has earmarked investments of up to $550 million mostly for increasing efficiency and improved environmental performance of its geothermal plants in Tuscany, Italy.

With investment plans of up to EUR500 million ($550 million), Enel has allocated funding mostly for increasing efficiency and improved environmental performance of its geothermal plants in Tuscany, Italy. The investment is earmarked for plants in the provinces of Pisa, Siena and Grosseto over the next five years.

The technological innovations introduced in 2015 continue a tradition of EGP’s geothermal activities in Tuscany, which has given rise to solutions and projects that can drive the development of the whole industry across the world. The entry into service of the Bruciano 1 plant of the new HH300 drilling facility and the start of operations at the Cornia 2 plant, the first one in the world to combine geothermal and biomass, are the latest and most cutting-edge examples of constant innovation that is set to continue in 2016, spreading from Tuscany to the rest of the world.

Exporting knowhow and sharing the best technological solutions across the world have been the common thread of EGP’s geothermal business for years. Over the years, the 34 plants that operate in the Tuscan district have been joined by the hybrid Stillwater plant in the United States (already online), Cerro Pabellón in Chile (under construction) and the project for a plant near Weilheim, Germany, on which geological exploration will begin during 2016.

Care for the environment and air quality will continue to be central in the development of the energy from the Earth. In 2015, all the 34 Tuscan geothermal plants had AMIS systems for the abatement of mercury and hydrogen sulphide installed, making it possible to almost completely eliminate natural gases and metals associated with geothermal steam, also doing away with the disturbance produced by the characteristic smell of the natural emissions related to the vapours.

The local benefits of geothermal in Tuscany are many, and these will continue to characterise EGP’s activity also in the years to come. The record-breaking production exceeding 5.5 billion kWh achieved by the 37 production groups enables them to meet 27% of the region’s electricity needs, also saving more than 3.9 million tonnes of CO2and 1.3 million equivalent tonnes of oil, corresponding to 10-13 medium-sized tankers.

Linked industries and employment benefit from the industrial chain connected to Enel Green Power’s geothermal activities. Over the last two years, 82 local young people have been hired by EGP, and the involvement of local entrepreneurship and handicrafts rose from 11% in 2010 to 21% in 2015 over the total of Enel Green Power’s geothermal orders, accounting for 25.5 million euros over the first ten months of 2015.

Source: Enel