Enel Subsidiary 3Sun Secures €560 million For HJT Solar Manufacturing In Italy

Enel Subsidiary 3Sun Secures €560 million For HJT Solar Manufacturing In Italy Italy's Enel Green Power Kickstarts Agrivoltaic Solar Project of 170 MW Capacity

Italy, which has been a surprise beneficiary of the European push for more manufacturing, got another boost with 3Sun, the solar module manufacturing subsidiary of Italian utility Enel secured €560 million for its heterojunction module assembly plant in Sicily, Italy. Details on the number of jobs this would create are not available, but widely expected to be around 300.

The financing came from the European Investment Bank (EIB), InvestEU, and a pool of Italian banks led by UniCredit and comprising BPER Banca (Corporate & Investment Banking)and Banco BPM, backed by SACE, the Italian Export Credit Agency.

The EIB financing also includes intermediated loans to commercial lenders for €118 million with an upper limit of €342 million in 2024, bringing its total contribution to 3Sun to €389.5 million.

Amount Institution
€47.5 million EIB , Backed by Invest EU
€147.5 million UniCredit Loan
€140 million Banco BPM
€140 million BPER Banca Loan
€118 million EIB Credit to UniCredit


Besides all these, there is also a VAT credit of €85 million.
With a current annual nameplate capacity of 200MW of bifacial modules, the plant is expected to expand to 3GW of annual capacity by the end of 2024. The choice of HJT also indicates the currency this hitherto ‘expensive’ technology is finding with developers now.

Coming soon after Meyer Burger’s announcement to shut a key German manufacturing plant, the move indicates the wide differences that still create opportunities in some parts of the EU even as richer economies like Germany struggle. The European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) has been issuing dire warnings about the future of solar manufacturing in the continent, and there are wide expectations that the EU will soon move beyond funding support to more direct action against Chinese imports in particular.

Irrespective, chances remain high that actual conversion of announced manufacturing plans and capacity expansions may be much lower than announced, in both Europe and the US in particular, as these markets are simply too high on overhead costs to compete with Asian manufacturers.

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Tony Cheu

Tony is a BSc who has shifted from a career in finance to journalism recently. Passionate about the energy transition, he is particularly keen on the moves being made in the OECD countries to contribute to the energy transition.