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ST, Sharp open PV fab in Italy

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PV? solar panel? thin-film technology? renewable resources?

3Sun, the equal-share joint venture between Enel Green Power, Sharp Corp. and STMicroelectronics Inc., has opened an innovative photovoltaic panel factory in Catania, Italy. The opening ceremony was attended by Raffaele Lombardo, president of the Sicily Region; Giuseppe Castiglione, president of the Catania Province; and Raffaele Stancanelli, mayor of Catania. Aside from government representatives from the area, representatives from the three partnering companies also attended the event.

The PV fab will manufacture integrated multijunction, thin-film photovoltaic cells and modules. The plant currently employs 280 people and has a solar panel production capacity of 160MW per year, which could be increased to 480MW over the next years. By far, the 3Sun PV plant is the largest solar panel factory in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.

The plant was financed by capital from the partners, funding from CIPE and project financing with three major lending institutions, namely, Banca IMI, Centrobanca, and Unicredit.

Following the agreement signed in August 2010, each of the three partners subscribed to a third of the capitalcommitting $101.04 million (70 million euros) each in cash or in tangible and intangible assets. The partners also contributed their specific expertise. Enel Green Power provided their knowledge in the development and operation of plants generating power from renewable resources at the international level and the retail marketing of photovoltaic panels on a national scale through its subsidiary Enel.si. Sharp contributed its unique multijunction thin-film technology already being manufactured at its factory in Sakai, Japan and the marketing of photovoltaic panels through Sharp's subsidiaries in Europe. STMicroelectronics shared its manufacturing capabilities, its competence in innovative energy-saving power-management systems and its highly trained staff in advanced technology sectors such as microelectronics.

The factory 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.





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