Photovoltaic (PV) modules manufacturer Canadian Solar has secured financing for a 151MWp portfolio of solar PV projects in Italy.

The Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo has provided the project’s funding, with a bilateral revolving credit facility of €55m.

The portfolio of 12 solar facilities will be built at various municipalities in Sicily, Apulia and Lazio, with the first projects expected to break ground in the third quarter of this year.

Canadian Solar chairman and CEO Dr Shawn Qu said: “Canadian Solar has always been standing in solidarity with our employees, customers and partners around the world.

“By securing this project construction financing, we are committed to, and will continue to invest in the Italian solar market during this challenging time.”

The portfolio in Italy is said to be one of the first subsidy-free utility-scale solar projects in the country.

Canadian Solar will equip the projects with its SolarHiKu CS3W-425 modules and its engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) capabilities.

Once operational, the solar facilities are expected to generate nearly 287GWh of solar power annually. This will be sufficient to meet the electricity requirements of 57,331 people while offsetting 73,384 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The Canadian company has more than 900MWp of project pipeline under permitting in the Italian subsidy-free market. It has over 2GWp portfolio under development across Europe.

The European Union (EU) aims to become a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.

Dr Shawn Qu added: “I appreciate Intesa Sanpaolo’s trust in Canadian Solar and its support for solar energy development. Italy is an important energy market where subsidy-free solar energy is already competitive with conventional sources.

“Meanwhile, Italy is expected to be one of the fastest-growing solar energy markets in Europe given the size of its economy and abundant solar resources. Canadian Solar is well-positioned to play a role in achieving the goal of building a carbon-neutral future.”