Enel’s 150MW Aurora solar photovoltaic (PV) park built in the US state of Minnesota by its subsidiary Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA) has commenced operations.

The Aurora plant which was built at a cost of nearly $290m is the largest facility in the solar portfolio of Enel in North America. Construction of the Aurora utility-scale distributed photovoltaic (PV) solar project began in May 2016.

Owned by EGP-NA subsidiary Aurora Distributed Solar, the Aurora solar park comprises 16 PV plants located across Minnesota that use linear axis trackers to ensure maximum efficiency and production.

The PV plants will be interconnected into the distribution system of the off-taker to transmit energy and capacity to local distribution networks.

According to Enel, the solar park provides a variety of benefits including a reduction in line loss, elimination of transmission expenditure and geographic diversification of power generation assets.

The Aurora solar park can cover the energy consumption requirements of more than 17,000 homes through its annual solar power generation of about 210 million kWh.

It is also expected to help the state in bringing down the carbon emissions by at least 150,000 tonnes on a yearly basis.

It is secured with a long-term power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy, a Minnesota-based utility.

EGP-NA head Rafael Gonzalez said: “We are proud to be a part of growing Minnesota’s energy economy through maximising the utility-scale distributed solar model.

“This model, which we have implemented through the Aurora solar plant, consists of the installation of multiple small-scale solar sites to supply green energy to communities across the state, and furthers our ‘open power’ approach to open energy access to more people, new technologies and new uses.”