Cero Generation has commenced operations at a 70-megawatt agrivoltaic solar farm in Italy. Situated in the province of Latina, Lazio, the Pontinia facility stands as one of the initial large-scale agrivoltaic plants in the nation.
The venture is supported by two 10-year virtual power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Heineken, a global brewing company, and Philips, a global health technology company.
Under the virtual PPAs, Heineken and Philips are financially contributing to the Pontinia’s clean energy output at 64 gigawatt-hours per year and 16 gigawatt-hours per year, respectively. The energy is physically supplied to the Italian grid, and both companies benefit from Guarantees of Origin.
Functioning as an agrivoltaic plant, approximately 65% of the 135 hectares occupied by Pontinia will be dedicated to agricultural cultivation. Cero has partnered with the social farm Fattoria Solidale del Circeo to oversee farming activities.
This social farm offers employment opportunities for vulnerable or socially excluded individuals, instructing them in cultivating crops using biodynamic and fuel-efficient methods. It also aids in the participants’ community reintegration.
Pontinia adopts an innovative financing model, positioning it at the forefront of the transition to subsidy-free solar photovoltaic projects in Italy. Cero’s extensive portfolio encompasses 25 gigawatts across 370 utility-scale projects, making it one of the largest in Europe.
Marta Martinez Queimadelos, Cero Generation chief executive, commented “We’re delighted to see our Pontinia project enter operation and start to produce cleaner, cheaper, and more secure energy for the Province of Latina in the Lazio region.”
“The virtual PPAs with Heineken and Philips and the project’s clever integration with agricultural crops embodies the scale of innovation needed to combat the climate crisis.”
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