Enel Green Power, through its renewable energy company Enel Green Power Espana, has completed the construction of the Augusto photovoltaic plant located in the municipality of Badajoz in Extremadura. This 49.91 MW photovoltaic plant, in which EGP invested 35 million euros, was built in record time, in compliance with the strictest health and safety measures, even in the most difficult moments of the global Covid-19 outbreak. For the construction of the plant, which is expected to produce around 100.45 GWh a year, equivalent to the combined annual energy consumption of towns like Merida and Almendralejo, more than 300 people have been employed, 70% of them from Extremadura. Rigorous safety protocols were implemented, in light of the ongoing pandemic and in line with the indications provided by health authorities, with the aim to ensure the necessary protection of the workers involved in the construction as well as to the communities where the plant is being installed.
Augusto features 127,980 bifacial photovoltaic panels of 390 watts peak power. The bifacial nature of these panels ensures greater use of solar energy, making them more efficient than conventional panels. To allow the solar plant to operate, EGP has built eight electricity transformation centers, one 30/66 kV electricity substation and an 18.4 kilometer underground medium and low voltage cabling network. In addition, 4.3 kilometers of high voltage lines with 16 aerial supports and a 450 meter underground section to reach the Badajoz substation were built. This setup has today allowed the first kilowatt-hours of renewable energy to be generated, and this has already reached the Extremadura electricity distribution network.
Augusto, which has just been connected to the grid, will prevent emissions into the atmosphere of approximately 46,800 tons of CO2 annually.
The construction of the Augusto photovoltaic plant involved the latest technology, such as the use of an exoskeleton (a kind of external skeleton that allows the panels to be mounted and their weight to be lifted more easily) in order to facilitate the installation of solar modules, surveillance cameras to detect any safety breaches that may occur during construction as well as a system, that was placed on machinery, in order to detect and warn when a person is nearby and to prevent accidents.
In addition, EGP is using virtual reality to monitor this plant through smart glasses that allow supervisors to attend remotely, without needing to physically go to the area of interest. Furthermore, the technology employed incorporates an infrared camera that takes instant photographs of what it sees, a revolution for the detailed monitoring of the state of the plant.