Sharp Enters Thin-film Joint Venture with Enel

Italy’s largest power company, Enel SpA has said that it will establish a joint venture with Sharp to operate as an independent power producer that will develop a number of solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants with a total capacity of 189 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2012.

The plan is for Sharp, Enel, and a third European manufacturing company to construct a thin-film solar cell plant in Italy with the potential to expand annual production capacity to around 1 gigawatt. The initial phase of development will have an annual capacity of 480 MW, with the aim of starting operations around the middle of 2010.

The three companies are working out the details of establishing the joint venture to manufacture thin-film solar cells in Italy, and plan to sign a memorandum of understanding this month. Sharp expects to invest approximately ¥100 billion [US $1.07 billion] in the project from 2009 to 2012.

The PV plants will be set up mainly in southern Italy and will utilize thin-film solar cells. The two companies are also looking into expanding their IPP business in the future to cover other countries of the Mediterranean region.

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