Italian PV construction surges ahead of changes to government programs

The Italian photovoltaic industry has been affected by fear and uncertainty as the national government reviewed its solar support program. Only days after the new policy direction was announced, in the form of the Conto Energia IV, new solar projects have been announced and ones under construction brought online.

Italian photovoltaic installer and electrical generator TerniEnergia S.p.A. has announced that construction has begun on seven photovoltaic plants worth 28.8 megawatts (MW). The plants in Umbria, Lazio and Sardegna add to the six TerniEnergia sites already under construction elsewhere in Italy. This brings the company’s total photovoltaic output under construction in Italy to 42.8 MW.

The projects have been funded from various sources including 2.4 MW of output fully funded by TerniEnergia and 3.8 MW funded in joint venture. The remainder has been funded by "important national players," the company said in a statement announcing the additional construction. Of the total 42.8 MW of photovoltaic capacity under construction, three MW is expected to be completed this month with a further 20 MW coming online by June 30.

Additional to this, a two MW solar farm has been completed in the Umbria region. Designed by Canadian Solar and operated by ESA Renewables, the system comprises 8,350 solar panels. Canadian Solar provided around half of the panels with the other 4,200 coming from Trina Solar. The solar farm is situated on 14 acres of rented farmland on a high plateau.

Construction took five months and the installation is one of the largest solar projects in the municipality of Umbria. The project is testament to the energy policy of the local government, said Canadian Solar’s Shawn Qu. Italy’s largest power company Enel will purchase the Umbria plant’s electricity.