US-based aluminium provider Novelis is set to commence construction on its first solar park at its manufacturing facility in Pieve Emanuele, Italy.

Local authorities have given their approval to construct this approximately 28,000m² solar park, which will begin generating electricity by the end of this year.

Novelis will invest $2.4m in decarbonising its production at the facility as part of this project, which is expected to aid in developing low-carbon, sustainable aluminium solutions for the European market.

The park’s annual output of approximately 4,000MW is expected to allow the factory to shift a substantial amount of its energy sources away from carbon-intensive sources and towards renewable ones, reducing its dependency on external energy sources.

The park will be integrated into the Italian national grid, allowing electricity generated outside of the plant’s operating hours to be used by nearby towns.

Novelis executive vice-president Emilio Braghi said: “Investing in renewable energy generation is crucial to decarbonising our operations and meeting our sustainability goals.

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“Further increasing our capabilities to supply aluminium produced with a lower CO₂ footprint will also enable us to help our customers reduce their scope 3 emissions and achieve their decarbonisation goals.”

Novelis’ Pieve facility is located in the south of Milan and is suitable for a solar park as it has a vacant area that receives significant daily sun exposure.

The company aims to lower its carbon footprint by 30% by 2026 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier.

Novelis’ plant manager at Pieve Laura Basile said: “In addition to the importance of the solar park for Novelis, the project is also an investment in increasing renewable energy generation in the Lombardi region.”