Italy: 3Sun’s owners announce second JV as thin film factory opens

Back in April 3Sun – jointly owned by Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics – received €49.06 million of regional investment aid from the European Commission to be used in the facility’s establishment.

Overall, a total of €400 million will be invested into the plant. A spokesperson for 3Sun tells pv magazine that the three partners will each invest €70 million "in cash, or in tangible and intangible assets". Project financing will also be secured from lending institutions Banca IMI, Centrobanca and Unicredit.

Initial annual thin film photovoltaic production capacity at the new factory will be 160 MW. However, the ability to ramp this up to 480 MW exists. The spokesperson adds that operations are expected to begin within the second half of this year, and that an initial 280 people have been employed. Integrated multi-junction, thin film photovoltaic cells and modules will be produced.

The manufactured modules are expected to be used for projects in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The spokesperson explains that they will also be marketed in Europe through subsidiaries of Enel Si and Sharp.

The three companies now say they will develop, install and operate 500 MW worth of solar projects by 2016 in EMEA. To do so, they have formed a second joint venture called ESSE (Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy).

The spokesperson explains that in terms of capital for the second JV, Enel Green Power will commit 50 percent, Sharp 40 percent and Sharp Electronics Italia 10 percent.