GE Energy Financial Services has invested US$58 million in Moser Baer Clean Energy’s (MBCEL) soon-to-be-completed 20MW Su Scioffu solar greenhouse in Italy. The first 5MW of the system was completed on August 30, and when the remaining 15MW are connected to the grid at the end of the month the array will become one of the largest rooftop installations in the world.
The greenhouse, situated on 66 acres of farmland, is not only a boon to Italy’s solar industry, but also to the Sardinian commune of Villasor where it is located; it will create up to 90 agriculture and system operation jobs in a community still suffering economically from the closure of its sugar factory.
“This project demonstrates how solar power technology can produce multiple benefits from a single site,” said Lalit Jain, the chief executive officer of MBCEL’s Wind and International Solar business. “We are doubling the productivity of the land by growing crops and generating electricity.”
“This transaction reflects our commitment to investing in Europe with good partners in good projects, despite the economic challenges facing the region and beyond,” added Andrew Marsden, a managing director and European leader at GE Energy Financial Services. “It also demonstrates our interest in investing in development-stage projects, particularly those consistent with GE’s ecomagination program.”
The investment, which was announced at this week’s Solar Power International exhibition in Dallas, is part of GE’s ever-expanding renewable energy portfolio, which already includes nearly US$1 billion of solar power equity and debt investments in 46 projects across six countries. Modules for the Su Scioffu system are being provided by, among others, Trina Solar.