Located on a combined total of 63 hectares, the seven plants will range in size from one to 3.5MW, and will be complete by September 2010. Up to 50 jobs are expected to be created during construction.

At all of the Sol.In.Build sites, SunPower will install its panels, solar panels, on fixed-tilt system technology and T0 Tracker systems. Fixed tilt systems will be used in areas with steep slopes and uneven terrain to optimize land use in those areas.

The T0 Tracker tracks the sun during the day to maximize energy delivery, and requires only half the land area to produce the same amount of energy as conventional dual-axis trackers. Both technologies feature a modular design for fast, easy installation, the company said.

The seven power plants will be built in the Sicilian municipalities of Cerami, Licata, Caltanissetta, Calamonaci, Mussomeli and Cammarata.

The construction will be financed by Italian and international banks including Societe Generale, Unicredit Medio Credito Centrale and Dexia.

Gian Ferrero, vice president of SunPower, said: “High-efficiency SunPower technology at these sites will minimize land use and maximize the amount of reliable, emission-free solar power generated per hectare, which is one of the priorities of Veronagest and the Sicily region.

“This is the largest solar project to be financed in Italy this year, which underscores financier confidence in SunPower’s technology and experience.”