SunEdison / San Bellino Photovoltaic Power Plant, Italy
SunEdison Photovoltaic (PV) Power Plant, also called the San Bellino PV power plant, was built by SunEdison Renewable Energy in Rovigo, Veneto, Italy. The 70MW plant is one of Europe's largest photovoltaic plants. SunEdison, Italy, operates the plant.
The solar power plant got the Italian Government's approval and the construction commenced in March 2010. The PV plant began its operations in November 2010.
SunEdison and Banco Santander, a Spanish equity firm, established and co-owned the plant. MEMC Electronic Materials is the parent company of SunEdison Italy (SunEdison Italia).
A joint venture of First Reserve and SunEdison acquired the plant for €276m ($385m) in October 2010. SunEdison remains a minority stakeholder in the plant being a minority investor in the joint venture that acquired the plant.
First Reserve Energy made an initial payment of €46m ($58m) in May 2010 and the remaining payment in December 2010. SunEdison remains responsible for the operation and maintenance of the plant even after the sale.
The plant's size makes it one of Italy's largest installations. The plant produces energy sufficient for use in 17,150 homes. It reduces 41,000t of carbon dioxide emissions every year, which is equivalent to taking 8,000 cars off the roads.
Financing the Italian photovoltaic power plant and development
Financing for the plant was provided by Banco Santander, Unicredit Corporate Banking, Dexia Crediop, Natixis, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole.
Isolux Corsan, an infrastructure construction company, was assigned to design and construct the photovoltaic power plant. The assignment also included plant development, operation and service maintenance.
The installation of support structures was completed by August 2010. The plant was constructed in just eight months.
SunEdison Photovoltaic Power Plant details
The SunEdison Photovoltaic Power Plant was constructed in an area of 85 hectares. The plant includes an 80MVA substation and is expected to produce 88GWh per year.
The photovoltaic solar power plant is equipped with 280,000 CS6P polycrystalline solar modules. Canadian Solar supplied the CS6P modules for the solar power plant.
Each CS6P solar module consists of 60 solar cells made of ELPS poly material. Each module weighs 20kg and includes anodized aluminium alloy made frames. The modules consist of a Metal Wrap Through (MWT) system, which increases the light absorption resulting in a higher power output.
The module has a high performance rate even at low radiance levels and can deliver six percent more electricity than the conventional solar modules.
Bonfiglioli Vectron and Ingeteam inverters of 1MW are being used in the SunEdison PV power plant. Centralised remote monitoring and operation and anti-intruder surveillance systems are also installed at the power plant.
Italy's power market and renewable energy investment
Italy is third in the European photovoltaic market, with the induction of 711MW photovoltaic installations in 2009.
The Italian photovoltaic market is expanding at a rapid rate as there is a huge demand for the photovoltaic power production.
In 2010, the installed photovoltaic capacity of Italy was 1,850MW. This figure is likely to move to 3,000MW by 2013.
Italy's target is to have 8,000MW in solar capacity by 2020. The country also aims at surpassing US's installed solar capacity level.
The main goal of the Mediterranean Solar Plan drafted in 2008 is to achieve 20GW renewable energy production. The plan includes 3GW to 4GW of photovoltaic, 10GW to 12GW of concentrated solar power and 5GW to 6GW of wind power generation.