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Enel 3Sun Gigafactory, located in Catania, Italy, will become Europe’s largest solar panel factory by 2024. 3Sun will have an annual production of 3 GW by next year, writes Enel in a press release.

The project is backed by an investment of 600 million euros and 118 million euros awarded in funding. It will create 900 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs. A delegation including Enel CEO and government officials recently visited the construction site.

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Enel CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace commented on the project. “Renewable energy growth estimates for the next few years make a clear case for investing in the creation of a domestic production chain. It represents a strategic move for Italy and Europe, in order to balance demands for energy security and independence with the demands of the economy, of the employment market, and of the environment. With 3Sun, we are practically demonstrating that in Italy, thanks to innovative technology, we can now produce state-of-the-art photovoltaic panels. Initiatives like this are the future of energy.”

An Energy Hub for Europe

The Italian Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin highlighted how 3Sun Gigafactory was an opportunity to become independent from foreign countries. “This investment has strong political significance, which is that of liberating our country from foreign dependency, when it comes to producing renewable energy systems. Such independence is achieved through quality and innovation, through the ability to produce better, higher performing, and more durable elements that are more easily disposed of and recycled. Production at the Gigafactory matches the Government’s commitment to install renewable energy plants, up to at least 8 GW per year. This state-of-the-art research is the key technological driver for a country that has decided to become Europe’s energy hub.”

Ditte Juul Jørgensen, Director-General for Energy of the European Commission added. “Europe’s clean energy transition materializes through projects like this one. It will allow tapping into the immense potential for renewable energy sources deployment in the area of Catania harbors, turning Sicily into a European leader in solar power production. It is a major opportunity to strengthen the skilled workforce, spur investment in the grid and increase Europe’s energy independence in line with the REPowerEU plan.”

3Sun Gigafactory will leverage an innovative technology globally that produces state-of-the-art photovoltaic panels competitively at international markets. The project – which began in April 2022 – will have a 400MW capacity by September 2023, reaching full capacity in 2024. Tandem photovoltaic modules production will start by late 2025.