The Italian renewable energy company Enel Green Power (EGP), a subsidiary of the Enel Group, has announced that its PV module factory 3Sun in Catania, Sicily, southern Italy will be converted to the production of bi-facial, heterojunction modules.
The company stressed that the new module technology will allow it to utilize its existing amorphous silicon production equipment, and will ensure high efficiency and production levels, as well as low degradation levels, without providing further technical details.
The manufacturing facility will start production activities in early 2018 and will reach an annual capacity of 240 MW in 2019.
EGP said it will invest €80 million ($84.8 million) in converting its production at the facility and another €20 million ($21.2 million) for its R&D center Innovation Lab, which is also located in the area. The center works on solar thermal, PV, microgrid, storage and wind power technologies, with indoor and outdoor testing equipment
The 3Sun factory was originally created by EGP in partnership with Sharp Corporation, which provided its triple-junction thin-film technology for the module production, and French-Italian multinational electronics and semiconductor manufacturer, which owned the site were the factory is located.
In July 2014, EGP acquired the interests, each equal to one-third of the share capital, of Sharp Corporation and STMicroelectronicsin in 3Sun. At the time, the factory had the capacity to produce 200 MW of thin-film, multi-junction PV panels per year. These modules were used by EGP for some of its large-scale PV projects across several countries worldwide.