Ituverava Park: solar energy renews hope of Bahia residents

Published on thursday, 19 october 2017

“The best thing this project offered were job opportunities for the residents. Before, young people had to leave and go to Mato Grosso or Goiás to get work. Now, with the construction and the opening of the park, they can work closer to home”

– Custódia de Oliveira, nurse and local resident

The Ituverava Park can produce 550 GWh a year, enough energy to supply around 268,000 families. Comprising 850,000 solar panels, Ituverava covers an area of 579 hectares, equivalent to 700 football fields.

Constant concern about the environment

Among renewable sources, solar energy has a high utilisation potential due to its great availability and the many advantages for the environment. Ituverava Park, for example, will prevent the emission of 318,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. Furthermore, companies that win tenders legally must ensure that 20% of the property is preserved. However, the Enel Green Power team decided to go beyond that:

“We are preserving two other areas of native vegetation, which we call Green Belt. One is at the front and the other at the back of the project, very close to the Legal Reservation. In addition, the pruning under and between the solar modules is already being performed in a remote and automated way, using technology that is innovative in Brazil. All equipment was imported so we can do this activity while preserving the environment and without impacting our operation”

– Edno Almeida, Enel Environmental Discipline department

In a project of this scale, the logistical challenges are immense, requiring more than a year of planning and total synergy between the relevant departments. During the build, about 2,500 containers arrived at the Port of Salvador with cargo coming by sea from Italy, Germany and China. For security reasons, during the whole route between the port and the site, an escort accompanied the truck convoy on a journey that took at least 12 hours. Despite all the difficulties, no traffic accident was recorded.

“An important point is that the access to BA 466 was via a dirt road. We invested around R$8m to implement asphalt cover over 18km of road connecting Tabocas to the Ituverava plant, an improvement that wasn’t part of the requirements by any public body. The tarmac not only helped the logistical side of the build, it also brought benefits to the community, which can now commute without so much dust”

– Elenito Libânio, Enel Sustainability

Dona Custódia also celebrated the arrival of asphalt: “The road to Tabocas was terrible. We couldn’t travel properly, go to the supermarket, to the shops, that sort of thing… This tarmac was a blessing! We are very happy. Following this construction, we can see progress around the corner!”. With so many news, the best-known nurse in town has one conviction: “The Tabocas do Brejo Velho sun isn’t important just to us. It’s essential to the whole of Brazil!”

Main figures of Ituverava Park:

  • Installed capacity: 254 MW
  • Investment: US$400m
  • Solar panels: 850,000
  • Built area: 579 hectares
  • Annual generation capacity: 550 GWh – enough energy to supply 268,000 families
  • 318,000 fewer tonnes of CO2 released into the atmosphere