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Enel Green Power opens portion of 754-MW solar PV plant in Mexico

A Mexican subsidiary of Enel SpA launched a portion of its planned 754-MW Villanueva solar photovoltaic plant in the country's Coahuila state.

The approximately US$650 million project will consist of the 427-MW Villanueva 1 and 327-MW Villanueva 3 and host more than 2.3 million solar panels across 2,400 hectares in the Mexican semiarid region, Enel Green Power Mexico S de RL de CV said in a March 22 news release.

Once fully operational in the second half of this year, the Villanueva project is touted to be "the largest PV facility producing energy in the Americas and Enel's largest solar project worldwide."

Enel said the project is currently over 41% completed, generating almost 310 MW of electricity since December 2017. Villanueva 3 is generating over 190 MW and Villanueva 1 producing over 120 MW. Upon completion, the facility is expected to generate over 1,700 GWh annually.

The Villanueva facility will sell power under a 15-year long-term contract and clean energy certificates under a 20-year contract to the Federal Electricity Commission of Mexico.

As part of its (R)Evolution project, Enel also conducted tests across a 10-MW area for a pilot program for the use of digital technologies and automation for the construction of solar photovoltaic projects. The results showed that cable installation were eight times faster than manual installations and the machines' fuel consumption also decreased by 30%, the company said.

Enel Green Power Mexico currently operates 728 MW of wind and hydro projects in Mexico. In addition to the Villanueva project the company also is building the 200-MW Amistad wind farm, in the Coahuila state, the 238-MW Don José PV project in the state of Guanajuato and the 93-MW Salitrillos wind farm in the state of Tamaulipas.