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Rome airports going renewable to power terminals, even at night

Rome airports going renewable to power terminals, even at night

Enel X will build a PV plant - integrated with a battery energy storage system - at Fiumicino to help meet peak demand

Enel X won a Europe-wide public tender to supply Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) – operator and developer of Rome Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino airports – with a self-consumption photovoltaic system. Upon completion, the new plant – the second major collaboration between Enel X and ADR, following a battery energy storage project called PIONEER – will be the largest of its kind in Europe, comprising approximately 55,000 solar panels and covering a surface area of 340,000 square meters. It will have a maximum capacity of some 22 MWp and produce some 32 GWh of renewable electricity each year, eliminating 11,000 tons of CO₂ emissions annually and helping ADR on its path to zero CO₂ emissions by 2030. The plant will be integrated with the PIONEER project, a 10 MWh second-life Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) that will store excess solar power to use at night, helping keep the terminals’ operations “on” even when the sun is “off”.

The client

Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) operates the Italian capital’s two airports, making it the leading air travel hub in the country. Fiumicino – the larger of Rome’s two airports, with two passenger terminals that cater to international and intercontinental travelers – is the first and only airport in Italy to have been awarded a 5-star Skytrax rating for excellence standards in service quality. Ciampino is mainly used by low-cost airlines, express couriers and for general aviation activities. In 2019, some 49.4 million passengers used its airports. Sustainability is a key driver of ADR’s mission, a dedication recognized - among others - by the UN’s World Tourism Organization (WTO), which in 2020 recognized the airports operator for “Leadership in Sustainability and Commitment to Responsible Travel”. 

The agreement's benefits

Enel X's challenge

ADR has embarked on a journey to attain net zero emissions by 2030, ahead of the targets set by the European airport sector. As part of its efforts to reach its sustainability goals, Rome’s airports operator requires an energy efficiency solution for its Fiumicino international hub that will enable it to cut CO₂ emissions.
Built in collaboration with Circet SpA, a leading infrastructure development company, Enel X’s solution for ADR will become Europe’s largest-ever airport-based PV facility for self-consumption purposes, covering some 340,000 square meters. The innovative plant will comprise some 55,000 latest-generation solar panels, as well as their mounting systems, cabins and cable ducts. The system will be integrated with a 10 MWh battery energy storage system, fruit of the PIONEER project (airPort sustaInability secONd lifE battEry stoRage). PIONEER was the first step in the collaboration between Enel X and ADR. 
Once the facility is fully operational, it will have a maximum output of 22 MWp, generate some 32 GWh of renewable energy annually and avoid the release of more than 11,000 tons of CO₂ into the atmosphere each year, equivalent to the amount absorbed annually by planting 100,000 trees. The PIONEER battery energy storage system will contribute to covering eventual peaks in nighttime energy demand at the airport, making sure the lights stay on as the sun turns ‘off’.
Enel X’s challenge