The Catania plant will supply the most promising markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Rome, December 23rd, 2011 Today marks the first day of commercial manufacturing operations in Catanias new plant dedicated to technologically innovative solar panels, run by 3Sun, a joint venture company owned by Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics.
This is the biggest solar panel plant in Italy, and one of the biggest in Europe.
The construction of the plant was financed by a mix of capital from the partners, CIPEs funding and project financing with three major lending institutions, namely Banca IMI, Centrobanca and Unicredit. In this first phase the plant will produce multi-junction thin-film photovoltaic panels for a capacity of 160MW per year, and will employ around 280 people.
The factorys output is intended to meet the demand of solar power markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), using both projects under development and the sales networks of Enel Green Power and Sharp. For this purpose, Enel Green Power and Sharp have set up a second joint venture, ESSE (Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy), to develop, build and operate photovoltaic systems in the EMEA area with an output target of over 500MW by 2016, using panels manufactured by the factory.
Enel.si, the Enel Green Power subsidiary specialized in the installation of photovoltaic systems for the retail market, will also participate in the marketing effort, offering panels through its franchise network of over 570 qualified installers throughout Italy.
3Sun is using its own solar panels to build a 1MW photovoltaic plant on the rooftop of the new factory.