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Italian wind farm in balance with ecological and economic resources of the region

Located between the Italian municipalities of Vado Ligure and Quiliano in the west of the Ligurian region, the Rocche Bianche wind farm was chosen by environmentalist association Legambiente and the Italian wind energy association ‘Associazione nazionale energia del vento’ (ANEV) as one of 24 wind farms that compose the tourist guide for the wind farms in Italy. The guide highlights locations where modern technology for sustainable energy generation from wind has been successfully integrated into the beautiful Italian landscape. The Rocche Bianche wind farm owned by Fabbrica Energie Rinnovabili Alternative (FERA) vividly demonstrates that this challenge can be mastered in dialogue with the local communities. Rocche Bianche not only offers the opportunity to get to know an area rich in cultural and ecological resources off the beaten track, but also shows how innovative and exciting ways can be found to maximise the value of local resources in the Ligurian dales and hills.

The installation of 4 × E-92 with a nominal power 2.35 MW each was completed in 2019. With a total wind farm capacity of 9.2 MW, Rocche Bianche provides renewable energy to 7,500 households, preventing the emission of 7,100 tonnes of CO2.

Installation started in October 2019. A challenge ENERCON encountered was the transport of the turbines to the site, near a small village with narrow streets. The logistics concept created for the project included the use of a blade lifter to transport the twelve around 46-metre-long rotor blades to the construction site in September 2019. So, ENERCON was able to successfully commission and put the wind farm into operation in April 2020 in the sunny Ligurian spring weather. Since then, Rocche Bianche has been managed by the ENERCON Service team in the Ligurian area, and it achieved a technical availability of more than 98.5 per cent on average during the last three operational years.

Still, Rocche Bianche’s track record does not end here. In 2023 the RICARICA charging station for electric cars and trucks was put into operation and Rocche Bianche became the first wind farm in Italy to be directly connected to and powering a charging system. ‘I would like to thank all stakeholders for appreciating our RICARICA electric vehicle charging station, which is directly connected to a renewable energy plant,’ said Cesare Fera, president of the FERA Group. ‘In my opinion, this demonstrates the attention that the general public is giving to true renewable energy initiatives as opposed to “greenwashing”, which the public is beginning to distrust more and more.’ The 4 × E-92 provide clean energy for 14 ultra-fast-charging stations, from 250 to 350 kW of power, as well as a 75 kW fast-charging and a 22 kW charging station. The direct connection between the wind farm and the electric charging infrastructure potentially enables more than 90 vehicles to be charged simultaneously in ultra-fast mode with green, sustainable energy and by that contributes to the preservation of natural resources and the unique environment in the region.

Rocche Bianche wind farm in the Ligurian mountains