SunEdison, a solar energy services provider and a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, has successfully interconnected a 70 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Northeast Italy, near the town of Rovigo. The deployment, which is now the largest single-operating PV solar power plant in Europe, was completed and interconnected in a nine-month time period.
The Rovigo solar power plant was acquired by First Reserve through a previously announced joint venture between First Reserve Corporation and SunEdison. Investment programs managed or advised by Partners Group AG and Perennius Capital Partners SGR have invested in the project with the First Reserve joint venture. First Reserve recently announced the execution of a euro 276M project finance facility for the project with some of the leading European banks, including Banco Santander, Unicredit Corporate Banking, Dexia Crediop, Natixis, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole. SunEdison, a minority investor in the joint venture with First Reserve, will manage the ongoing operations and maintenance of the Rovigo plant.
"With construction completion in less than one year, we believe this deployment signifies a new milestone for the industry and will become the standard for future mega projects," said Carlos Domenech, President of SunEdison. "SunEdison has once again demonstrated its capabilities and expertise in developing large-scale solar projects while helping government agencies promote renewable energy initiatives."
"SunEdison has proved it is highly efficient and reliable as a leader in executing large scale solar projects like Rovigo," commented Mark Florian, Managing Director of First Reserve Energy Infrastructure. "We are proud to add this flagship project to our energy infrastructure portfolio and look forward to developing new opportunities for our joint venture with SunEdison in the future. The combination of a strong regulatory environment, a stable tariff regime and reliable solar exposure are attractive characteristics for the Italian solar market."
"The deployment of the Rovigo project within this timeframe was made possible thanks to the commitment of our project partners and local and regional authorities," said Pancho Perez, General Manager of SunEdison EMEA. "This project is a fine example of SunEdison's commitment to the continued development of the solar PV sector in Italy and the EMEA."
In a letter to Carlos Domenech, the Italian Minister for Economic Development, Paolo Romani, congratulated SunEdison's achievement. The Minister referred to the challenges of energy supply in Italy and the project's importance to economic growth and success.
The Rovigo solar plant will create significant environmental benefits over its expected lifetime. In its first year of operation alone, the system is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 16,500 homes and prevent the emission of more than 40,000 tons of CO2, equivalent to the removal of 8,000 cars from the road.