MILAN (Reuters) -Enel has reached a deal with Italy’s Comal to install a solar tracker factory at a giant power plant it is converting into a green energy hub as part of plans to cut its carbon footprint.
Europe’s biggest utility said on Thursday that Comal would build the factory to make tracker devices – which allow solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day – at the Montalto di Castro power plant in southern Italy.
The move is part of Enel’s plans to redevelop disused power plants and create new renewable energy and storage facilities alongside other business projects.
Enel, which has pledged to phase out its coal-fired plants by 2027, is looking to cut its global emissions by 80% from 2017 levels by 2030 and aims to have a wholly green power portfolio by 2040.
Comal’s tracker factory will be built in a 30,000 square metre (322,917 sq. ft) area at the site, which is gradually being wound down.
The aim is to produce tracker devices able to support solar production of up to 1 gigawatt a year and help create an Italian renewable energy supply chain.
Enel, which had 12.4 gigawatts of conventional capacity in Italy as of the end of last September, has applied for permits to build a 10 megawatt solar plant at the site which used to have a gross capacity of around 3.6 GW.
Oil-fired capacity at Montalto di Castro has already been mothballed but gas-fired turbines still generate power when needed by the grid.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Susan Fenton)