Trio’s Italian PV project gets green light

The proposed three-way thin-film solar PV operation in Italy between STMicroelectronics, Sharp, and domestic utility Enel has received a new name and approved government funding, though there’s been a slight delay in project readiness.

August 5, 2010 – The proposed three-way thin-film solar PV operation in Italy between STMicroelectronics, Sharp, and domestic utility Enel has received a new name and approved government funding, though there’s been a slight delay in project readiness.

The newly-named “3Sun,” conceived in January as an equal three-way partnership, now begins its operational phase to build triple-junction PV panels (Sharp’s technology) at ST’s M6 facility in Catania, targeting initial 160MW production capacity and gradually triple that output to ~480MW “over the coming years.” Output of the site will targeted the “EMEA” region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the Mediterranean in particular, where Enel and Sharp have put together a separate JV, “ESSE,” projecting installed capacity of >500MW worth of solar farms by 2016.

The Italian Joint Ministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE) has now committed €49M to support the project, plus €150M commitment from the three partners; the rest of the eventual €320M will come from lending banks.

One interesting detail in these updated plans is expected production to start in 2H11 — that’s about six months later than the original “early 2011” expectations. The delay is being blamed on waiting for the government subsidy.

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