SUSI Partners launches 500MW Italian PV development platform, sees Italy as key growth market

The platform has a target of 500MW of solar PV and will be developed in partnership with an ‘experienced clean energy developer’. Image: Unsplash.

Swiss fund manager SUSI Partners, through its Energy Transition Fund (SETF), has launched a solar PV development platform in Italy that aims to deploy 500MW of utility-scale solar PV after identifying Italy as a key growth market.

The platform is being set up “in partnership with a dedicated senior management team from an experienced clean energy developer” and plans to develop, build and operate the PV projects.

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Established in late 2021, the platform will see SUSI Partners working closely alongside the management team for the development and operation of the assets.

SUSI said it expects the Italian market to enter an “expansion phase” this decade as it strives to meet its clean energy targets despite slower growth following the expiration of government incentives after 2013.

It said the “fundamental drivers for the Italian solar PV market remain strong” given its high levels of irradiation and soaring gas prices across Europe.

“In a market characterised by high development premiums for ready-to-build assets, SUSI’s platform with a dedicated development and operating team on the ground will benefit from low development costs and further savings across the value chain,” SUSI said in a statement.

Italy’s solar sector is currently up in arms after a government decision to clawback profits from renewables plants that are currently benefiting from high electricity prices.

Companies will be required to pay back a resulting increase in profits to the government until the end of 2022, as part of the measures announced last month.

The profit clawback applies to solar projects with a capacity above 20kW that receive feed-in tariffs through the country’s Conto Energia scheme as well as merchant solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power plants with an output of more than 20kW.

Trade bodies have warned it could have a “huge impact” on renewable investment in the country, with trade body Italia Solare’s board member Stefano Cavriani telling PV Tech Premium that as much as 13GW of solar plants that receive feed-in tariffs through the country’s Conto Energia scheme are affected by the measure.

Elsewhere, SUSI has set up a new renewables platform that will build a portfolio of solar PV and wind assets in Poland, acquired a 50% interest in Starling Energy Group, an Australian installer of integrated solar PV and energy storage systems for the residential sector, and entered the Latin America market via the acquisition of a 200MW portfolio of distributed solar PV and wind assets in Chile.  

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