Enel converts Augusta power plant into an innovation research center


Italian multinational energy company Enel has launched a new research center at the company’s former Augusta power generation plant in Sicily.

The establishment of the research center is a result of an agreement signed with Italy’s National Research Council (CNR), through its Department of Engineering, ICT and Technology for Energy and Transport (DIITET), and the Science and Technology Park of Sicily.

The center, dedicated to sustainable reclamation and mitigation of environmental impacts of power generation plants and their related infrastructures, will be established in areas of the plant that are no longer in use.

The facility will be completed in 2021.

Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies ‘Nicola Giordano’ of CNR and the Science and Technology Park will have access to the center to strengthen Italian scientific research and create an internationally-renowned center.

The aim is to create a center of excellence by providing facilities and technologies and the possibility to carry out studies through the replication of specific site conditions in the laboratory.

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Researchers will be able to provide new solutions for continuing decommissioning and transition activities in the energy sector internationally.

Other studies will concern the integration between cultivating crops and power generation activities, such as in agrivoltaic applications, and the reuse of plants used in phytoremediation processes, a natural remediation technology.

The Augusta Research Center will have offices, a conference room and all the necessary elements to make it an autonomous center. From the energy point of view, the Center will come with a large photovoltaic panel covered roof, a solar thermal panel system for the production of domestic hot water and a heat pump system for cooling and heating the building. 

Additional parts of the former oil-fired thermoelectric power plant have been or are being converted to the production of energy from renewable sources and into warehousing and storage areas.