Renewable energy company and photovoltaic solar module manufacturer Enel Green Power, a unit of Italian electricity utility Enel, and the European Commission have signed a grant agreement that will allow the Italian company to develop its module factory at 200 MW 3Sun heterojunction in Catania, southern Italy, at 3 GW.

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

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

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

“Europe alone should absorb a large part of the additional demand thanks to the high competitiveness and convenience of this technology,” said Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel. “The supply footprint of these important components is a weak point in the global supply chain and we see the need to rebalance its geographic distribution which is today overly dependent on a single Asian source.”

Enel began production at the 200MW facility in October 2019. It has invested around 80 million euros in reviving the plant, which was built in 2011 with Japanese electronics maker Sharp and the Franco-Italian semiconductor company STMicroelectronics. Enel took full control of the facility in July 2014. At the time, the plant was intended to produce multi-junction thin-film silicon photovoltaic modules.

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