European Energy to build Italy’s ‘largest’ 250MW solar PV plant

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A solar PV project from European Energy. Image: European Energy.

European Energy (EE) has received a construction permit for a 250MW PV plant in Catania, Sicily, which, according to the company, will be the largest in Italy upon completion.

The government of Sicily gave approval for construction last week. Located in Vizzini, near Catania, the plant will be paired with a biodiversity project including areas for reforestation and soil recovery. A date for construction or operation of the plant was not given.

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EE also said it is considering different construction options, including fixed-tilt and tracker-equipped panels, as well as agrivoltaics.

Knud Erik Andersen, CEO of European Energy said: “Italy is a key country and market for European Energy, and authorisation for this project represents an important milestone for our company. We have at several occasions proven that we are capable of rolling-out large-scale renewable energy projects in Italy, and we look forward to delivering another important solar farm to the benefit of the Italian community.”

EE has already developed solar projects in Italy, and due to its land resources and solar irradiance Sicily is one of the country’s most promising areas for renewable energy development, but it’s also one of the poorest regions of Italy. Notably, Enel Green Power is currently scaling up its module factory in Catania to a 3GW peak capacity through its manufacturing subsidiary 3Sun.

A report from analyst company McKinsey said that around 1% of the available land in Italy is currently usable for ground-mounted solar PV projects, largely due to regulations around land use and arable land preservation.

Recently, EE North America – European Energy’s US subsidiary – has been expanding its operations across the Atlantic. In October, it announced plans for 10GW of US renewables projects by 2026, and since then it has acquired a 700MW solar PV portfolio in Colorado as part of a joint venture with Horus Energy.

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