3SUN aims to expand production capacity of the facility by 15 folds to 3GW, which is expected to generate up to nearly 5.5TWh of clean energy annually


3SUN secures €560m to expand solar panel factory in Italy. (Credit: Enel Spa)

Enel Green Power’s 3SUN has signed a non-recourse financing agreement with UniCredit for a maximum amount of €560m to fund the expansion of its solar panel factory in Catania, Sicily.

The fund is divided into a €475m senior term loan which is partially counter-guaranteed by SACE, and an €85m VAT loan.

TANGO, the Italian factory, manufactures sustainable, high-performance photovoltaic (PV) modules with a production capacity of 200MW.

The expansion will increase the production capacity by 15-folds to 3GW, which capable of generating up to nearly 5.5TWh of clean energy annually. This, in turn, can eliminate the equivalent of nearly 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the first ten years of operation.

The expanded plant is anticipated to be fully operational by July 2024, while the first 400MW is expected to commence operations in September 2023.

The production from the factory will comprise bifacial heterojunction (B-HJT) PV cells which can react to light on both front and rear surfaces, resulting in the capture of more solar irradiation.

According to Enel, the PV panels will be further developed to incorporate Tandem, a structure that uses two stacked cells to enable more light capture.

By 2024, the factory is anticipated to add approximately 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Enel CEO and general manager Francesco Starace said: “With the signing of this long-term project financing agreement we have reached another important milestone for the Gigafactory, confirming the robustness and attractiveness of the initiative.

“The solar module factory we are building in Catania will be at the forefront in terms of innovative technology and automation of industrial processes and will contribute to the EU’s goal of achieving 40% energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030, as well as help reduce energy dependence.”