architect: Markus Scherer | Photographer: Bruno Klomfar

Who we are

The current success of the FRI-EL Group would not exist without the entrepreneurship, pioneering work and determination of the three brothers Thomas, Josef and Ernst Gostner. More than 20 years ago, they founded the Ener.CO S.r.l., which was the direct predecessor company of FRI-EL Green Power.

Thanks to a keen sense of sustainable and also economically meaningful management, a steadily growing group of companies emerged, which soon attracted the attention of international partners.

Nowadays, FRI-EL is quite diversified: as well as having a leading position in the field of wind energy in Italy, the FRI-EL Group operates also 21 hydroelectric power plants, a solid biomass power plant, as well as one of the largest liquid biomass power plants in Europe.

The Group’s tasks and core competencies include all stages of plant planning, construction of the plant, production and sale of electrical energy from renewable sources, from the analysis and assessment of landscape to handling of approval process and the construction and designing of the plant as well as the production and sale of the produced energy.

Mission

Together for a better future

Charles Darwin already stated that “everything, what is against nature, will not last for long”. For centuries, treating natural resources with care has been an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable management. Our goal is to operate on this principle and to revive it with new energy.

Yes, we are and will remain a profit-oriented group of companies. This very fact encourages us to think about the world of tomorrow. Together with our partners and employees, we want to experience and shape a new future. A future in which economic efficiency, sustainability, environmental friendliness as well as social responsibility are not contradictory but complementary in a lived philosophy.

History

Innovation blossoms from tradition

Pioneers with a vision: since the 1990s, FRI-EL has been involved in the production of electrical energy from renewable sources. Therefore, FRI-EL is considered a pioneer in this field in Italy.

Our history

1994: The brothers Thomas, Josef and Ernst Gostner found Ener.CO S.r.l., specializing in production, purchase and distribution of electrical energy.

1998: The company has a portfolio of 19 hydroelectric power plants in Northern Italy, with a total capacity of 49,5 MW.

2001: In order to develop, implement and support projects in the wind energy sector, the Group forms a joint venture with EDF Énergies Nouvelles, which was at that time one of the most important international companies in the field of renewable energies. 10 wind farms are built in the following years, achieving a total capacity of 274 MW.

2002: Ener.CO S.r.l. becomes FRI-EL Green Power S.p.A. The first wind farms are built.

2006: FRI-EL starts construction of a liquid biomass thermoelectric plant (installed capacity: 74,8 MW) in Acerra, near Napoli. A major step towards achieving a self-imposed goal is to expand the supply of energy from renewable sources.

2007: The tenth wind farm in Ricigliano (Campania) is built, with an installed capacity of 36 MW. In spite of the difficult geo-morphological conditions, wind turbine generators of 3 MW each are installed: among the most powerful generators in Italy. Furthermore, FRI-EL Green Power inaugurates a new division, designed for the development and management of biogas plants: FRI-EL Biogas Holding S.r.l. is established.

2008: FRI-EL Green Power signs a joint venture partnership with RWE Innogy Italia, which is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of renewable energies. The aim is the development of wind farms and solid biomass plants.

2009: The liquid biomass plant in Acerra starts production. For this project, a leasing contract of 78,5 million euro is signed. Also, the first biogas plant (installed capacity: 1 MW) in Codroipo enters into production.

2010: In cooperation with RWE Innogy, FRI-EL Green Power begins the construction of its first 18,7 MW solid biomass plant in Enna (Sicily). The first two wind farms fruit of the JV with RWE Innogy start operation. The overall capacity is over 50 MW. Two more wind farms (64 MW) are under construction. By the end of the year, the tenth biogas plant of FRI-EL Green Power will be opened.

2011: One new wind farm and two biogas facilities are built.
The GAR Group (a subsidiary company of the Sinar Mas Group, which is headquartered in Singapore and is with more than 480,000 hectares one of the world’s largest palm oil production companies) acquires 50 percent of the biomass plant in Acerra, thus securing the supply of raw materials for this plant.

2012: With the commissioning of a wind farm and nine biogas facilities, FRI-EL Green Power confirms its leadership in the market: in 2012, the Group produces 1.391 GWh of renewable energy.

2013: The partnership with GAR is strengthened and the total installed capacity is increased by 100 MW thanks to two new wind farms which were built together with GAR.

2014: Through the purchase of 80% of the stakes of SPER S.p.A., FRI-EL acquires full ownership of the solid biomass power plant in Dittaino in the province Enna (Sicily).

2016: By participating in the bidding procedure for funded wind power projects presented by the GSE, FRI-EL has been awarded with the subsidized tariff for a period of 20 years for 4 wind energy projects with an installed capacity of approximately 130 MW.

2017: Due to a public tender offer, FRI-EL owns 84% of the shares of Alerion Clean Power S.p.A, which is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. Thus, increasing its total capacity by a further 294 MW. With a total installed wind capacity of 776 MW, the Group is now the second largest wind power producing company in Italy.

2018: FRI-EL acquires two new biogas plants. One of the two is the first fuelled with organic waste run by the company. FRI-EL Group connects the Medio Campidano wind farm with a total gross installed capacity of 30.8 MW.

2019: The windfarms of Morcone-Pontelandolfo, Albareto and Colle Sannita, with a total gross installed capacity of 100.1 MW, are connected to the national grid and come into operation. Alerion Clean Power, now part of FRI-EL Group, acquires the first wind farm already operating in Spain, with a total gross installed capacity of 36 MW. Same year FRI-EL Green Power Group executes an asset swap with EDF EN Italia SpA, resulting in the consolidation of FRI-EL Ichnusa and its subsidiary FRI-EL Campidano (which runs a windfarm of 70 MW).

 

Renewables

WHAT ARE THEY

Renewable energies are forms of energy generated from non - exhaustible sources. , which means that they use natural resources that are non subject to depletion. This category includes wind energy, solar radiation, hydroelectric power, geothermal heat, tides, biogas and biomass (solid and liquid).

THE FRI-EL GROUP USES THE FOLLOWING RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES TO GENERATE ENERGY:

ADVANTAGES
Compared to traditional ones, renewable sources bring several important environmental, economic and health benefits.


ENVIROMENTAL ADVANTAGES
The energy produced from fossil fuels or nuclear energy may have severe ecological consequences, ranging from the increase in the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, the main cause of global warming, up to the emission of pollutants such as example, fine dust, mercury or sulphur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rains. Other negative impacts are changes in the chemical composition of the soil, groundwater contamination and acidification of lakes and rivers.

CHARACTERISTICS OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES:
> full sustainability
> very low environmental impact
> inexhaustible sources


HEALTH ADVANTAGES
The harmful substances released into the atmosphere by the combustion of fossil fuels or by the production of nuclear energy represent a serious danger to human health. These substances may in fact be the cause, in certain areas, of an increase in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders as well as abortions and malformations.

RENEWABLE ENERGIES:
> reduce harmful substances in the atmosphere
> reduce the incidence of diseases caused by pollution


ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES
By diversifying energy sources and guaranteeing a constant and stable energy supply, the strategy of renewable energies is also successful from an economic point of view.

RENEWABLE ENERGIES:
> reduce the dependence on imported energy sources
> contribute to preserve the natural heritage of the region
> reduce energy costs for the benefit of all
> promote economic development and employment
> stabilize energy prices