EGP takes control of solar business 3SUN


According to a recent agreement reached between Enel Green PowerSharp Corporation and STMicroelectronics, the Sicilian manufacturer of thin-film, multi-junction photovoltaic panels, 3SUN, will be acquired by EGP.

The deal, which was reached on 24 July, means that the two multinational corporations will leave the joint-venture with EGP, which in 2010 had given way to the creation of 3SUN.

According to the agreement signed with Sharp last week, EGP will assume Sharp's off-take obligations for PV panels manufactured by the plant in Catania. The off-take agreement is a contract under which Enel Green Power and Sharp committed to purchase the entire output of 3Sun's Catania facility, which currently manufactures around 200 megawatts of thin-film, multi-junction photovoltaic panels a year.

The deal also commits EGP to the acquisition of Sharp's equity stake in ESSE (Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy Srl), another joint-venture created for the developing, building and operating of PV systems in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, using 3SUN panels.

Once the two operations are completed, EGP will assume both companies' contractual obligations in exchange for €110 million: 95 of which on Sharp's behalf and 15 from STMicroelectronics.

According to the 2014-2018 Business Plan, Enel Green Power will use the panels, which are particularly suited to high temperatures, to build PV plants in a number of emerging markets. This includes South America and South Africa, where in October EGP was awarded the right to enter into contracts to supply 314MW PV solar power with South African utility Eskom. The plants will be located in the Northern Cape, Western Cape, Free State and Limpopo provinces, in areas of the highest concentration of solar radiation.