Project focus: SunPower completes 1MW Agilent project, signs deal with Etrion for 4MW more in Italy

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SunPower has completed one solar power project in California, and signed a deal for a series of others in Italy. The company finished a nonpenetrating, high-efficiency 1MW rooftop photovoltaic system on three buildings at Agilent Technologies’ headquarters in Santa Clara, CA, and also reached an agreement with Canadian energy company Etrion to build four solar power plants, totaling 4MW, in the Puglia region of southern Italy.

The Agilent system marks SunPower’s second project with the test and measurement company, following its design and installation of a 1MW tracking array at Agilent’s Santa Rosa campus last year. Agilent, which expects to save $3.5 million in energy costs in the first decade of operation, owns the renewable energy credits and all environmental attributes associated with the system.

The first of the four Italian PV projects is slated to begin construction by the end of November, with first electricity sales from the projects under the Italian feed-in-tariff regime expected during the third quarter of 2010, the company said. SunPower will design and build the ground-mounted plants—which will feature its Tracker technology–and provide operations and maintenance services.

The Italian bank, Centrobanca, is financing 83% of the project, while an Etrion subsidiary is contributing the remaining 17% of anticipated costs.

SunPower has seen a sharp increase in activity in Italy this year. With partner Bluenergia, it began construction last month on a 1MW system in the Puglia region, with plans to start building another 1MW plant later this year. The solar firm says it will finish construction on the 24MW Montalto di Castro site (set to be the largest PV power station in Italy, when completed) by year’s end and has already completed a 5MW system in Tolentino.

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