Italy’s Edison inaugurates power station partly funded by citizens
QUASSOLO, Italy (Reuters) – Italian utility Edison on Friday inaugurated a new hydroelectric power station partly financed by the local community and its wider customer base.
Italy aims to generate nearly two thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade, but several projects have been slowed down or blocked by local opposition.
Edison has offered both residents living close to the new power station in Quassolo near Turin and its customers in Italy the option to lend money for the project in exchange for a gross annual interest rate of between 5% and 6%.
Edison, the first utility to launch a crowd-funding initiative in Italy, has raised 300,000 euros over a total cost of 12 million euros ($12.80 million) for the plant, raising money from more than 100 small savers.
The hydroelectric power station is expected to produce about 8,300,000 kilowatt-hour (kW h) per year, corresponding to the energy needs of about 3,000 families. It is considered a mini-hydropower plant.
“With the inauguration of the new Quassolo hydroelectric power plant we are proud to take a further step forward in the process of decarbonising the country and achieving our development targets to 2030,” said Edison CEO Nicola Monti.
The group aims to increase installed renewable power to 6 gigawatt (GW) by investing 5 billion euros by the end of the decade.
Edison currently has 120 hydroelectric power plants, 80 of which are mini-hydro plants, with a total installed capacity of around 1 GW.
($1 = 0.9378 euros)
(Reporting by Giancarlo Navach and Francesca Landini, editing by Alvise Armellini and Susan Fenton)