Nova Olinda Comes to Life: First Solar Panel is Installed!

Published on Monday, 6 February 2017

It’s located in the State of Piauí in Brazil. When in operation, it will be the biggest solar plant in Latin America. We talk about it with the Project Manager, Tommaso Quadrini.

The immense Nova Olinda solar farm is finally starting to take a definite shape. After launching construction last June, the Enel Green Power team installed the first solar panel at the plant, which is located in Ribeira do Piauí, a small town in the State of Piauí in northeast Brazil, a few days ago.

When operational, it will stretch over an area of 690 hectares and will be the largest in Latin America. Nova Olinda will have a total installed capacity of 292 MW and will be able to generate more than 600 GWh a year, enough to meet the energy needs of about 300,000 Brazilian households.

“Nova Olinda is a major challenge that we hope will pave the way for similarly important projects in Latin America”, the Project Manager Tommaso Quadrini explained to us. “Just think of the Ituverava solar plant in Bahia that, once completed, will have an installed capacity of 254 MW, making it one of the biggest projects launched by Enel Green Power in the photovoltaic sector”.

Despite the difficulties that can be found in an enormous country like Brazil, the installation of the first panel was completed on schedule: “Thanks to great teamwork, we managed to start construction on Nova Olinda a few months earlier than expected, and in about a year, we intend to complete almost 300 MW, in a context that can often prove complicated. This is why the installation of the first panel was a key objective that proves the work done well so far”, added Quadrini.

The solar plant under construction is located in the state of Piaui, northeast Brazil, where we have experienced some difficulties related to a lack of resources. The dedication of our Construction team, who have been with us since the beginning of this great adventure, is commendable. The greatest difficulties concern logistics, infrastructure, availability of materials and the local workforce, but even in this case the entire group has been able to set up a dialogue with the local community, who responded in very positively: “For example, working with our contractors, we launched training activities that involved 300 local people, now engaged with the installation of trackers (the mobile structure that allows for the rotation of panels). In addition to building an important plant, we are creating relationships with the local communities, which are fundamental and will leave a significant and long-lasting mark”.

Now that the first panel has been installed, all that remains is to continue with the same commitment as always: “We are heading in the right direction and by the end of the month we expect to lay the first conversion unit, while the transmission line is already in construction”, the Project Manager of Nova Olinda told us.

The credit goes to the entire team working on this large project: “None of what we’re doing would be possible without this entire group. It’s both necessary and a great pleasure to thank our colleagues, not only from the project team but also from the Country team, committed together to provide support for management and partners”, concluded Quadrini. “Despite the major challenges that we still have to face to reach our target, Nova Olinda is a concrete example of how every project, even the biggest and most demanding, can be completed successfully by collaborating and working effectively”.