TORONTO, CANADA & SAN JOSE, USA: Etrion Corp., a Canadian energy company, and SunPower Corp., a US-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced an agreement to build four solar power plants, totaling four megawatts, in the Puglia region of southern Italy. SunPower will design and construct the plants, and provide operations and maintenance services.
Etrion CEO, Marco Northland, commented: "Solar power generation will play an increasingly vital role in our efforts to build more renewable, clean energy sources. SunPower's experienced approach to solar power plant design and construction will allow us to quickly and reliably complete these important projects."
SunPower is installing proprietary SunPower Tracker technology at the Italian sites. 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.
The Italian bank, Centrobanca, is providing 83 percent of the financing for the project, while an Etrion subsidiary is contributing 17 percent of anticipated project costs.
"SunPower offers a unique value proposition to power plant developers in terms of technology and bankability. Our proprietary Trackers optimize our clients' return on investment while our solid balance sheet and rigorous contract guarantees give financial institutions confidence," said SunPower European Sales Director Mario Riello. "We are very pleased to partner with Etrion to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the rapidly expanding Italian market."
Construction of the first of the four projects is targeted to begin by the end of this month. The first electricity sales from the projects under the Italian feed-in-tariff regime are expected during the third quarter of 2010.
SunPower has more than 500 megawatts of solar power plants installed or under contract around the world, including Italian power plants such as the 24-megawatt Montalto di Castro plant and a 5-megawatt plant in Tolentino. SunPower's Italian operations are located in Milan and Faenza.