Enel Green Power inaugurates in Coahuila a new phase of Americas largest solar farm
Enel Green Power Mexico, a renewable energy-focused subsidiary of Italian power generation firm Enel, announced that it recently inaugurated in the Northern state of Coahuila a new phase of its Villanueva photovoltaic plant, which is poised to become the largest solar farm in the Americas once it becomes fully operational.
Located in the municipality of Viesca, the photovoltaic facility will be able to produce over 1,700 GWh per year. Villanueva is Enel’s largest solar plant worldwide and the first energy project to start operation after the entry into effect of Mexico’s energy reform.
The 754 MW Villanueva solar photovoltaic plant followed the start of energy production by the 427 MW Villanueva 1 park, which along with the 327 MW Villanueva 3 park composes the overall solar facility.
Enel Group is investing approximately US$ 650 million in the construction of Villanueva, a facility that comprises over 2.3 million solar panels across 2,400 hectares in the Mexican semiarid region.
The overall 754 MW plant is currently over 41% completed, equivalent to around 310 MW in operation, with Villanueva 3 that is now producing energy from a portion of over 190 MW and Villanueva 1 producing energy from a portion of more than 120 MW since December 2017.
The tests were performed across a 10 MW, 20-hectare area where automated machines guided by GPS were used to carry out earthworks and laying cables, which specifically allowed for the installation of cables eight times faster than manual installation, as well as reducing by 30% the gasoline consumption of the machines used.
The overall 754 MW Villanueva facility is supported by a contract allowing the sale of specified volumes of energy for 15 years and clean energy certificates for 20 years to Mexico’s Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), a state-owned utility company.
Enel Green Power Mexico is the largest renewable energy operator in the country in terms of installed capacity and project portfolio. It currently operates 728 MW, of which 675 MW come from wind and 53 MW from hydropower. In addition to the 754 MW Villanueva solar PV plant, the company is building the 200 MW Amistad wind farm, also in the State of Coahuila, the 238 MW Don Jose photovoltaic project in Guanajuato and the 93 MW Salitrillos Wind Farm in Tamaulipas.