Italian renewable energy company Enel Green Power (EGP) has started operations at the El Paso photovoltaic (PV) facility, located in the Cesar Department in northern Colombia.
With a capacity of 86.2MW, the El Paso PV facility covers an area of approximately 210 hectares. The facility alone accounts for 80% of installed solar capacity in the country and capable of meeting the energy consumption needs of approximately 400,000 people living in 102,000 households, in Colombia.
EGP has invested approximately $70m for the construction of the facility, which is composed of approximately 250,000 solar panels.
The company has installed the solar panels on an innovative structure leveraging on advanced solar tracking technology, which allows the panels to follow the sun with the aim to maximize the energy production.
Enel Green Power South America head Antonio Scala said: “Enel Green Power’s first solar PV plant in Colombia represents a major milestone for the Group and for the country’s energy sector as a whole. This country represents an ideal market for green energy projects, as it boasts strong winds and high solar irradiation levels, in addition to its already advanced hydro sector.
“By building El Paso Solar and working towards a diversified portfolio of renewable projects throughout Colombia, we are strengthening our commitment to the country’s energy transition and sustainable development while further expanding our sizeable renewable footprint in South America.”
El Paso PV plant is expected to produce approximately 176GWh per annum, and avoid the annual CO2 emission of around 100,000 tons into the atmosphere.
The construction of El Paso Solar facility is expected to contribute to achieving Colombia’s goal of installing 1,500MW of renewable capacity by 2022.
Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy María Fernanda Suárez said: “We are making a reality Colombia’s dream to diversify, complement and improve the competitiveness of our energy mix, with alternative sources such as the sun and wind. The Caribbean Coast, in particular, represents a unique opportunity thanks to the potential in solar and wind power that will boost Colombia’s energy transformation.
“The El Paso solar plant will contribute to the development of an efficient, reliable and sustainable energy system. In addition, projects like this represent new opportunities for employment, investment and development for the country and its regions.”