Po River hit with drought forcing Enel to shut down hydroelectric plant

Po River drought

 PIACENTINO – The drying of the Po River has led to the closure of Enel Green Power, renewable energy company’s hydroelectric plant in Isola Serafini di San Nazzaro on Tuesday.

 The watercourse is eight metres below the hydrometric zero level, meaning Enel have had to stop the turbines which operate from the water of the Po which is diverted from its course and made to flow inside the plant to produce energy. 

 A scarcity of water due to the drought stops the turbines from working. The plant therefore depends on the restoration of sufficient hydraulic conditions to get it up and running again, explained Enel managers. 

 For the power plant to be able to operate, there are requirements in place for the minimum amount of water released to allow for vital runoff, agreed by the Irrigation Innovation Consortium and other bodies. To compensate for lack of production, more photovoltaic energy production will need to be sourced in the coming period.

 A reduction in the production of hydroelectric electricity, which is already low, has been highlighted as one of the main consequences of the Po River's severe drought.