Enel Green Power (EGP) has signed a grant deal with the European Commission to scale up a solar panel gigafactory it owns in Sicily.
The development of the 3Sun panel factory, dubbed TANGO, is expected to raise production at the site fifteen-fold to 3 GW from the current 200 MW, Enel’s renewable arm Enel Green Power said.
The 3 GW production facility is expected to be fully commissioned by July 2024, after starting with the first 400 MW in September 2023, making 3Sun Europe’s largest gigawatt-scale factory producing high-performance bifacial PV modules.
The total investment amounts to around 600 million euros, whereby EGP’s commitment will be coupled with EU funding in the amount of nearly 118 million euros.
This investment is expected to increase local direct and indirect employment by approximately 1,000 jobs by 2024, alongside acting as a catalyst for the relaunch of a European PV value chain.
“The global world demand of solar PV modules is growing at an accelerated pace,” said Francesco Starace, CEO of the Enel Group. “Europe alone is expected to absorb a large portion of additional demand thanks to the great competitiveness and convenience of this technology.”
“The Gigafactory will promote a circular economy concept, creating a more sustainable and resilient European supply chain, from the design phase to the new models of reusing components at the end of their life cycle. Looking ahead, the TANGO project has high potential for scalability and can become a model for other gigawatt-scale PV factories to be developed in Europe over the coming years,” added Francesco.
The 3 GW of panels to be manufactured every year by the Gigafactory can generate up to an approximate 5.5 TWh of renewable electricity per year.
The Gigafactory is being designed and constructed following sustainable and circular best practices by increasing the use of environmentally-friendly, recycled material, reducing energy and resource consumption.
Furthermore, the factory is fully engaged in R&D in collaboration with international research centers.