The Brazilian renewables subsidiary of Enel Group has announced plans to expand the São Gonçalo solar PV plant, which it says is South America’s largest, with a 256MW capacity addition.

Enel Green Power Brasil Participações (EGPB) powered up the initial 475MW section of the plant in the Brazilian state of Piauí earlier this year and now aims to complete an expansion of the facility in 2021, taking its total capacity up to around 864MW. The company said a current 133MW expansion is in the final construction phase.

The latest addition forms part of a 1.3GW renewables build-out in Brazil by Enel that mainly consists of new wind parks and will cost the Italian group BRL5.6 billion (US$1.1 billion). Once fully operational, the four new wind farms and São Gonçalo expansion are expected to generate more than 5.5TWh of energy per year.

Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power, said construction of the projects represents “an unprecedented milestone in the history of our company in Brazil, especially in view of the challenges imposed by the current scenario”.

Enel also revealed some of the safety protocols it is carrying out in Brazil as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These include testing campaigns, strict guidelines for travel and increased sanitisation of facilities, vehicles and construction sites.  

In Brazil, Enel Group, through its EGPB and Enel Brasil subsidiaries, has a total installed renewables capacity of over 3.4GW, of which 1,210MW is wind, 979MW solar and 1,269MW hydroelectric.

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