Since announcing the project in September, SunPower has finished the first phase of Italy’s largest solar power plant in Montalto di Castro. Construction of the €120 million, 24MW plant was completed in eight months and was connected to the grid on November 30, several weeks ahead of schedule. The Montalto di Castro plant uses 78,720 SunPower solar panels as well as its tracker systems. The project is being built for SunRay Renewable Energy.
“Completing construction of Italy’s largest PV park several weeks ahead of schedule is a testament to the professionalism of the entire installation team,” said Yoram Amiga, CEO of SunRay Group. “More than 200 local workers were trained in the skills of advanced PV technology, and they have surpassed our expectations and demonstrated creativity and resourcefulness in driving the project forward. We are proud of the way that the entire community swung behind this project and ensured its successful on-time completion.”
“The Montalto di Castro project is an important milestone for our industry, confirming solar power plants are financeable today and make good business sense,” said Howard Wenger, president of global business units for SunPower. “SunPower’s technology is proven and can be rapidly deployed, and our industry-leading efficiency delivers competitively-priced energy. We are very pleased to partner with SunRay to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the community and to the rapidly expanding Italian market.”
The project also received a 150MW substation was designed and constructed by Terna SpA. A visitor centre is also planned for the site.
“In only 240 days, SunRay Renewable Energy has translated into reality the carbon dioxide reduction goals incorporated into the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, and discussed by world leaders this month in Copenhagen,” continued Amiga. “With the completion of this phase of the project, the Montalto di Castro community is going to be energy self sufficient. Over the next few years, the solar park will become the largest landmark in Europe for renewable production.”
However, the 85MW project when announced in September was said to result in an installation reaching 100MW. The full-scale Montalto 100MW plant was then touted as being one of the largest in the world, surpassing the current leader which is the 60MW Olmedilla plant in Spain.