Europe, 02. August 2010 - 3Sun will start the production of thin-film solar cells in the second half of 2011 by utilizing the existing facility of ST in Catania, Sicily Region, Italy. The thin-film solar cell plant will start operation with an initial annual production capacity of 160 MW, which is scheduled to be expanded to an annual production capacity of 480 MW in the future. The thin-film solar cells produced in this plant will be marketed mainly in Europe and the Mediterranean area through the sales networks of Sharp and EGP.
In addition, on July 22, 2010 Sharp and EGP have established Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy S.r.l (hereinafter, ESSE), a joint venture of the two companies that will be engaged in the independent power producer (IPP(4)) business to develop, build and operate photovoltaic power generation plants.
ESSE will establish power generation plants with a total power generation capacity of more than 500 MW by the end of 2016. ESSE will use the thin-film solar cells produced by the 3Sun plant in Catania, and extend its IPP business to Europe, the Middle East and Africa with a focus on the Mediterranean area. Thin-film solar cells are suitable for large-scale photovoltaic power generation, especially in the Mediterranean areas including Southern Europe (EMEA). As compared to silicon type solar cells, the thin-film solar cells are able to maintain their conversion efficiency even in hot climates.
Through collaboration with a power company, Sharp aims to become a total solution company in the photovoltaic field, initiating the world’s first business model extending from thin-film solar cell production to IPP business.
Overview of Joint Venture Company for Thin-Film Solar Cell Production
• Company name: 3Sun S.r.l.
• Company location: Catania, Sicily Region, Italy
• Date of establishment: July 30, 2010
• Investment ratio: Sharp 33.33%, EGP 33.33%, ST 33.33%
• Plant location: Catania, Sicily Region, Italy
• Start of operations: The second half of 2011
• Production item: Thin-film solar cells
• Annual production capacity: 160 MW (initial phase)
Overview of Joint Venture Company for Independent Photovoltaic Power Generation Business
• Company name: Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy S.r.l.
• Company location: Rome, Lazio Region, Italy
• Date of establishment: July 22, 2010
• Investment ratio: EGP 50%, Sharp 40%, Sharp Electronics (Italia) S.p.A.(5) 10%
• Power plant location: Europe, the Middle East and Africa with a focus on the Mediterranean area
• Power generation capacity: Total of more than 500 MW by the end of 2016
Sharp Corporation (hereinafter “Sharp”), Enel Green Power(1) (hereinafter “EGP”), and STMicroelectronics(2) (hereinafter “ST”) established 3Sun S.r.l., a joint venture company for the production of thin-film solar cells, on July 30, 2010. In addition, on July 22, 2010, CIPE(3), the Italian Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning, has authorized a subsidy for this solar cell plant.
(1) Enel Green Power is the group company of Enel, the largest power company in Italy, dedicated to developing and managing worldwide energy generation from renewable sources in Italy and abroad.
(2) STMicroelectronics is the leading semiconductor manufacturer in Europe established in 1987.
(3) CIPE (Comitato interministeriale per la programmazione economica / Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning) is the Italian government entity responsible for the general management of national economic planning. It carefully scrutinizes investment of public funds as well as subsidies granted from them, and coordinates decisions between government agencies in this regard.
(4) An independent power producer owns facilities to generate electric power for sales to utilities and end users.
(5) Sharp Electronics (Italia) S.p.A. is Sharp’s sales subsidiary in Italy.