Milan, Italy [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) and BP Solar have signed an agreement to develop and build solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totalling 37.1 megawatts (MW) in Italy. FRV will invest €125 million [US $167 million] for these new projects.
BP Solar will construct the facilities. FRV will own and operate the plants, expected to be completed by the end of this year. The development of these projects will create approximately 200 jobs in the construction phase and 15 permanent jobs in the operational phase.
“This agreement strengthens BP Solar’s photovoltaic business in Italy, a solar market we consider globally strategic,” said Gianni Chianetta, managing director of BP Solar Italia. “These latest projects add to the 8 MW we built in 2009, and to the 11 MW that are scheduled to be completed in the first six months of 2010. Partnering with reliable companies such as FRV is a core BP strategy that has allowed us to develop 1 GW of solar projects last year, with residential, commercial and large scale plants.”
FRV currently owns a total of 205.9 MW of solar projects in various stages of development in Spain, Italy, and the United States. The company owns 123.94 MW in Spain (109.96 MW in operation and 13.98 under construction); 37.93 MW in U.S. (36.77 in operation and 1.16 under construction); and 44.04 MW under construction in Italy.
“This deal adds to the five 1-MW solar plants we have already built in the region and to the 10-MW site we have started building in Lazio, and helps us expand in Italy,” said Andrea Fontana, country manager of FRV in Italy. “The agreement combines our ability in structured finance and project management with BP Solar’s industrial capabilities.”
Italy is expected to see its solar capacity reach more than 1 gigawatt with the implementation of its second Feed in Tariff (FIT). With approximately 70,000 PV plants to be added to the 165 MW deployed under the first FIT, Italy ranks second in solar deployment in Europe, following Germany. The value of solar projects in Italy by the end of 2009 is estimated to be €2.5 billion, employing directly or indirectly approximately 20,000 people.