SAG Solarstrom activates 48MWp Serenissima PV power plant in Italy, meets deadline for higher FiT

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SAG Solarstrom said the 48MWp Serenissima photovoltaic project in northern Italy was connected to the grid on schedule to meet the Aug. 31 deadline. The plant, the largest in the company's history, features more than 200,000 ground-mounted solar modules and will produce more than 64 million KWh annually, enough to provide energy to more than 14,000 households.

“We sped up the project because of the changed legal situation in Italy,” explained SAG Solarstrom CEO Karl Kuhlmann. “It was originally scheduled for completion at the end of 2011.”

“It is no mean feat to shorten the construction period of such a large project by several months,” he continued. “This is why we are particularly proud that we were able to connect the system to the grid right on time for the deadline, which ensures us an average feed-in tariff of 25.6 euro cents per kWh for the entire plant.”

The sales process, with project buyer Terna, should be completed in the fourth quarter, according to SAG. 

“The sales process of such a large project incurs considerable administrative costs,” said Kuhlmann. “But we are on schedule in this respect and expect to receive the financial benefits of this project in the fourth quarter. The timely completion of this plant reconfirms our 2011 forecast of sales between €260 million to €280 million and EBIT of €16 million to €18 million, despite the German market losing a lot of momentum.”

The Italian Conto Energia planned monthly feed-in tariff cuts started in June and will run until the end of the year, with half-yearly cuts starting in 2012. The Aug. 31 deadline was relevant in two respects for ground-mounted systems, according to SAG. As of Sept. 1, ground-mounted systems >200kWp have to be registered with the GSE in order to receive the FiT, which also has been capped at 1,200MWp for the second half of 2011. Plants that were already connected to the grid on Aug. 31, on the other hand, are directly entitled to the FiT and will be considered at all times with regard to the maximum output eligible for subsidies.

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