Italian energy major Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) is holding exclusive negotiations to shed a minority stake in its project for a 3-GW-per-year solar panel factory in Sicily, set to become Europe’s largest one by 2024, its CEO was quoted as saying.
An official announcement on the matter is due to be made in the next few days, Enel’s CEO Francesco Starace has told Reuters on the sidelines of an event held at the project’s site and attended by regional authorities and government officials. According to insiders cited by the news agency, London-based NextEnergy Capital is heading the list of potential investors in the 3Sun Gigafactory.
The 3Sun facility in Catania currently has 200 MW of annual production capacity in operation and is being expanded to create Europe’s largest factory producing high-performance bifacial photovoltaic (PV) modules. The site will initially manufacture modules incorporating bifacial heterojunction (B-HJT) PV cells but from late 2025 will commence production of PV modules with a tandem cell structure.
The expansion project, called TANGO, represents a EUR-600-million (USD 644.6m) investment and will be backed by EUR 118 million in EU grants. It will lead to a doubling of the site's capacity to 400 MW in September 2023. Full production of 3 GW is expected to be achieved by July 2024.
Overseas, Enel also plans to build a solar module factory in the US with an annual capacity of at least 3 GW and potentially up to 6 GW. The company hopes to launch construction in the middle of 2023 and roll out the first panels by the end of 2024.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.074)
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!