The plant began construction earlier this year, and has created more than 200 local jobs. The clean, renewable solar power generated by the plant will provide electricity locally, and contribute to Italy’s national electric grid. The site will also have a fully equipped visitor center focusing on the education of the local community and school children about renewable energy.

“In addition to delivering commercial benefits to the community, Montalto di Castro is designed to integrate seamlessly into the surrounding countryside and preserve the local ecosystem,” said Giora Salita, head of business development for SunRay. “SunPower’s unrivaled global experience in the design and construction of solar power plants will help ensure that the finished project is the pride of the local community today and for many generations in the future.”

SunRay is the developer and owner of the project and selected SunPower to design and construct the power plant and provide on-going operations and maintenance services. SunPower is installing SunPower panels, the most efficient solar panels commercially available, and the proprietary SunPower(R) Tracker technology at the site. The Tracker follows the sun during the day and delivers up to 25 percent more energy than fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements. This project is the first phase of a planned 100-megawatt development that is expected to be fully operational in 2010.

“The Montalto di Castro project is an important milestone for our industry, confirming solar power plants are financeable today when you combine a world-class developer with an industry-leader offering technology and unparalleled experience in solar power design and construction,” said SunPower European Sales Director, Mario Riello. “We are very pleased to partner with SunRay to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the community and to the rapidly expanding Italian market.”