Enel, European Commission sign grant agreement for 3 GW Italian module factory


Renewable energy company and solar PV module manufacturer Enel Green Power, a unit of Italian power utility Enel, and the European Commission signed a grant agreement that will enable the Italian company to scale up its 200 MW 3Sun heterojunction module factory in Catania, southern Italy, to 3 GW.

Enel announced that it had secured an undisclosed amount of funding for the Tango (iTaliAN pv Giga factOry) project in mid-November. “The 3 GW production facility is expected to be fully commissioned by July 2024, after starting with the first 400 MW in September 2023, making 3Sun Europe’s largest gigawatt-scale factory producing high-performance bifacial PV modules,” the company said in a statement.

The funds were provided by the European Commission under the framework of the EU’s first Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects.

Enel plans to invest around €600 million in the expansion of its module manufacturing facility and the European Commission will contribute around €118 million to the total sum.

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“Europe alone is expected to absorb a large portion of additional demand thanks to the great competitiveness and convenience of this technology,” said Enel CEO Francesco Starace. “The sourcing footprint of these important components is a weak point in the global supply chain and we see the need to rebalance its geographic spread that is today excessively dependent on a single Asian source.”

Enel started production at the 200 MW facility in October 2019. It invested around €80 million in reviving the factory, which was built in 2011 with Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp and French-Italian semiconductor business STMicroelectronics. Enel took full control of the facility in July 2014. At the time, the factory was intended to produce multi-junction, thin-film silicon PV modules.

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