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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Largest solar farm in northern Italy comes online, while Solar Academy is launched


Aerial view of Trino solar farm Photo: Enel Green Power
Local residents helped fund the Trino project through a crowdfunding campaign launched in 2022

Photo: Enel Green Power

The Piedmont town of Trino is now home to the largest operating solar farm in northern Italy; Plenitude grows its Spanish portfolio with a 50 MW farm now online; and the European Solar Academy is launched.



Solar installation on former nuclear plant

The 87 MW Trino project consists of 160,000 bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels that will produce approximately 130 GWh/y.


Operated by Enel Green Power, Trino is situated on land formerly occupied by a nuclear power plant, and later by the country’s first combined-cycle power plant. The cooling towers of this plant, which closed in 2013, still stand.  


The project is integrated with a 25 MW lithium-ion battery energy storage system with a storage capacity of 100 MWh. An additional, larger storage system is scheduled for installation at the site soon.


Local residents helped fund the project through the ‘Scelta Rinnovabile’ (‘Renewable Choice’) crowdfunding campaign launched by Enel in 2022.


Plenitude inaugurates Villanueva II solar plant in Spain

Meanwhile, the 50 MW Villanueva II solar park has been connected to the grid in Spain’s Castilla-La Mancha region.


The project, owned by Plenitude, consists of 76,000 PV modules that will produce 100 GWh/y of electricity.  


With the commissioning of Villanueva II, Plenitude – an Eni-owned company – now has around 430 MW of solar and wind energy plants in operation, located in Galicia, La Rioja, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, in addition to projects currently under construction totalling more than 1,000 MW in Andalusia, Castilla y León and Extremadura.  


 Villanueva solar park

The 50 MW Villanueva II solar park has been connected to the Spanish grid  



EIT InnoEnergy launches the European Solar Academy

In other news, EIT InnoEnergy has announced the launch of the European Solar Academy mandated by the European Commission as one of its Net Zero Academies. The Academy will be run by the InnoEnergy Skills Institute, which will develop training services with the aim of reskilling and upskilling 65,000 workers across the European solar PV value chain within its first two years.


As the European Union (EU) pursues 2030 targets to install almost 600 GW of solar PV panels and supply 40% of EU demand for net zero technologies with products made in Europe, a growing number of skilled workers are urgently needed. Installation is estimated to require up to 400,000 additional trained workers by 2030, while an estimated 50,000 additional trained workers will be needed in manufacturing.  


Research by EIT InnoEnergy found skills gaps in training electricians on safe grid connection and construction workers certified for installation. Specific skills gaps include process engineers, technicians, and operators to produce cells, modules and ingots and wafers.