Some PV plants owners in Italy are walking away from their existing feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in favour of power purchase agreements (PPA) as the market enters a new phase.

Valerio Senatore, general manager, Martifer Solar in Italy told PV-Tech that there was a good market for subsidy-free solar emerging in the country.

“We have some customers that have already built plants and that currently receive very good FiT from the third and fourth Conto Energia that are switching from the FiT, only the tariff related to the Ritiro dedicato, to a PPA. This is a good sign for the market; the PPA business model works very well,” he said.

He said that analysts were expecting around 1GW to be installed this year with some of this already online. Senatore said based on the figures he had heard, it was expected that 300-400MW of subsidy free solar would be installed in the country this year after the current support scheme, Conto Energia V, closes at the end of the May.

“The market is heading towards rooftop self-consumption, like our recent IKEA project. There is a good market for that now and in the future. The second market that can start in Italy, perhaps this year but certainly in early 2015, is the installation of ground-mount solar with possible PPAs,” he said.

“At the same time, the GSA, which acquires the electricity from the PV plants has developed a simplified purchase and resale arrangement for projects between 1-10MW with a zonal tariff. You can sell the electricity to the GSA at the zonal tariff price [which is set each month by a market regulator].”

Senatore said while he didn’t anticipate that the market would reach the heights of 2011, it was still able to function in a sustainable way in the future.