Sharp office

Under the plans, Sharp will sell its 50% stake in Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy (ESSE), a solar-power development business established by both the firms in July 2010.

In return, Enel Green Power has agreed to assume Sharp’s obligations arising from the off-take agreement regarding the output of photovoltaic (PV) panels manufactured at the Catania facility of 3Sun.

3Sun is a JV between Enel Green Power, Sharp and STMicroelectronics.

The Catania facility currently manufactures about 200 MW of thin-film, multi-junction PV panels annually.

Sharp will, however, remain part of the 3Sun JV business, which will be continued.

Commenting on its move, Sharp said, "In the face of a deterioration in the European economy, revisions of the FIT (Feed-in Tariff for electric energy) policies of major countries, and the more sudden than expected drop in market prices for solar cell modules and other changes of the business environment, it became necessary for Sharp to restructure its solar-cell business in Europe."

The company said it will continue the production and sale business of thin-film solar cells by focusing on the EPC business at mega-solar plants.

Enel Green Power and Sharp established ESSE to develop, construct and operate PV plants in the EMEA region, using the panels manufactured at the 3Sun plant.

Enel Green Power uses the panels manufactured at the facility to construct its PV plants in several geographical areas of emerging countries cited in the 2014-2018 Business Plan, including South America and South Africa.

Image: Sharp head office in Osaka, Japan. Photo: Courtesy of Otsu4.