Endesa, through its renewable energy division Enel Green Power España, has connected the 180 MW Tico Wind wind farm to the grid, making it its largest wind farm in Spain. The facility, located in the town of Villar de los Navarros, in the province of Zaragoza, has required an investment of 181 million euros, the company said in a press release. The new plant will generate some 471 GWh per year, which from the point of view of sustainability has the potential to avoid the equivalent of about 192,200 tons of CO2 per year.
The project, whose construction began in May 2021, has included training courses in panel assembly and solar plant maintenance and operation as part of a plan to create shared value in the local communities where the company operates. In this regard, Endesa reports that it prioritizes the hiring of local labor in the construction of renewable energy facilities. Precisely during the construction of TICO WIND, the peak employment reached 330 workers distributed between the company's own workers and employees of contractors for the project. Of those who worked on the construction of the facility, 30% were from Villar de los Navarros and the surrounding area.
Rafael González, CEO of Enel Green Power Spain: "With this project we reaffirm our commitment to continue strengthening the renewable generation mix in our country, helping to pursue its green energy goals. We are also tapping into Spain's wealth of renewable sources, while actively promoting innovation and sustainability through the adoption of international best practices during the construction phase."
At the same time, the plant's output 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. Precisely part of this energy will go to the medical company Novartis, with whom Endesa's renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power España signed a 10-year pan-European Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) in 2020 for the supply of some 78.5 MW of electricity from start-up. The project will help avoid 96 000 tons of CO2 per year, helping to address part of Novartis' carbon footprint across its European operations.
James Goudreau, director of external engagement for environmental sustainability at Novartis: "At Novartis, environmental sustainability is aligned with our purpose of reinventing medicine to improve and prolong people's lives. The launch of TICO WIND marks an important milestone in our sustainability journey to become carbon neutral across our operations by 2025 and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. Energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions are pillars of our strategy to reduce emissions, and we are pleased to have partners like Enel Green Power on our side."
About the plant
A wind farm - Endesa reports - that has been built by applying the most innovative technology, such as drones for topographic survey, smart tracking of turbine components, advanced digital platforms and software solutions to remotely monitor and support activities. The construction of this project has been based on Enel Green Power's 'Sustainable Construction Site' model, which includes a series of measures to improve safety and environmental aspects, reducing emissions, water consumption and favoring energy efficiency. Some of the most important measures have been the installation of a photovoltaic kit of solar panels to cover part of the energy needs of the construction camp, emergency defibrillators, the use of low-consumption LED lighting and the use of rainwater collection systems in storage tanks. All these elements will be donated to the town of Villar de los Navarros.
Under the umbrella of the CSV, training has been promoted as a driver of local employment and recycling measures have been contemplated, taking into account aspects of waste recovery, circular economy and innovation measures such as the use of machinery with GPS and people detection.
In the last three years, Enel Green Power España has connected 19 wind farms to the grid in Aragon, located in the provinces of Teruel and Zaragoza, with a total combined capacity of 685 MW and an investment of 680 million euros. Endesa currently manages, through the EGPE, 8,390 MW of installed renewable capacity in Spain, including: 4,746 MW of hydroelectric power; 2,546 MW of wind power; 1,098 MW of solar power.