Enel begins construction on 475-megawatt Brazilian solar park

  • Enel Group says it will be investing around $390 million in the project.
  • Describes it as the largest photovoltaic facility being built in South America.
This image shows the Villanueva photovoltaic power plant, operated by Italian company Enel Green Power in Coahuila State, Mexico. 
Alfredo Estrella | AFP | Getty Images
This image shows the Villanueva photovoltaic power plant, operated by Italian company Enel Green Power in Coahuila State, Mexico. 

Enel Green Power Brasil Participacoes (EGPB) has begun construction of a 475 megawatt (MW) solar facility in Brazil.

EGPB is a renewable energy subsidiary of the Enel Group. The Sao Goncalo solar park is located in the north-eastern state of Piaui and is expected to commence operations in 2020.

In a statement Monday, the Enel Group said it would be investing around $390 million in the project, which it described as the largest photovoltaic (PV) facility currently being built in South America.

Photovoltaic systems "directly convert solar energy into electricity," according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Last year, cumulative solar PV capacity hit nearly 398 gigawatts and generated more than 460 terawatt hours, accounting for approximately two percent of global power output, the IEA adds.

When construction on the Sao Goncalo facility is finished and the plant is functioning, it will be able to produce more than 1,200 gigawatt hours per year and prevent the emission of over 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The head of Enel Green Power, Antonio Cammisecra, said in a statement Monday that the plant's construction strengthened the firm's leadership in the Brazilian renewable energy sector.

"Sao Goncalo will further contribute to the diversification and resilience of the country's energy mix," Cammisecra added.