Enel Green Power and Sharp increase solar capacity in Italy

The entry into service of five new plants at the end of March 2012 adds more than 14 MW to the photovoltaic capacity installed in Italy by ESSE – the equal share joint venture between the Italian company, a world leader in renewables, and its Japanese partner – bringing total installed capacity to around 20 MW;

The five new plants use multi-junction thin-film panels manufactured at the Catania factory of 3Sun – the joint venture between Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicrolectronics – which started commercial operations in December 2011.

The Italian-Japanese equal share joint venture for the development of photovoltaic power between Enel Green Power and Sharp – ESSE – ends the first quarter of 2012 with the entry into service of 14.4 MW of new photovoltaic capacity in Italy, in line with the partnership’s business plan.

Contributing to the achievement of this target was the entry into service of five new photovoltaic plants to exploit the sun’s energy: Altomonte 2, in the province of Cosenza, whose 8.2 MW is added to the 5 MW of capacity at the nearby plant of the same name that started operation last year. It is the largest plant installed to date in Italy to use thin-film silicon photovoltaic panels. Also in Calabria, the plant at Istia (Catanzaro), with a capacity of 1.4 MW, the Granataro plant (Vibo Valentia) with about 1 MW and the plant at Paglialonga — Bisignano (Cosenza) with about 1.2 MW were also connected to the grid. In Lazio, the plant at Pontinia, province of Latina, started operation with an installed capacity of 2.6 MW.

Altogether, the fully operational new plants will be able to generate 19.5 million kWh of power, enough to meet the electricity needs of more than 7,200 households and avoid the atmospheric emission of some 10 thousand metric tons of CO2.

The plants were built using multi-junction thin-film panels manufactured at the Catania factory of 3Sun, the equal share joint venture between Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics, which began commercial operations at the end of 2011. The facility, which can produce panels for 160 MW per year, is the largest in Italy and one of the largest in Europe, as well as being the most technologically advanced.

The factory’s output will help meet demand in the most promising solar power markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), working through new projects under development and the retail networks of EGP and Sharp.

Through the ESSE joint venture — Enel Green Power and Sharp Solar Energy — the photovoltaic panels manufactured at the plant will be used to develop, build and operate photovoltaic plants in the EMEA area for a total capacity of more than 500 MW by 2016.

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