Danish solar photovoltaic manufacturer European Energy has announced the completion of its 103MW solar farm near Foggia, Italy. It says this is the largest solar farm in Italy, spread across 1.5 million square metres.

The CEO of European Energy has also said he is ready to keep solar investment in Italy coming over the next five years.

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CEO Knud Erik Andersen said: “European Energy has invested a significant amount in this project and we have had great cooperation with the Italian subcontractors. More than 400 people were involved in the construction and others will operate and maintain the activity during the 30-year lifecycle of the plant.

“Italy is an important market for us. We are ready to invest approximately €800m [$897m] in the next five years to develop other projects in Italy, where the sunny days and overall climate conditions make a Dane like me envious. This impressive solar plant in Italy is also a perfect example of European economic investment and cooperation.”

The recently-completed Foggia plant is the largest solar plant in Italy, and among the 50 most-generating worldwide. The next closest plants were constructed in the country’s 2010-2011 solar boom, which saw the installation of nearly 10GW of capacity. This makes up the majority of Italy’s solar facilities, as after this construction of Italian solar facilities significantly diminished.

Continuing solar investment into the quiet Italian market

Head of project development in Italy Alessandro Migliorini said: “The climate conditions and the sunny days in Southern Italy are perfectly paired with cutting edge solar technology. The solar plant is made by a total of 275,000 latest generation modules and was engineered and built with the most advanced technology. The park is 50% more efficient than a similar park with five-year-old technology, which means that it will produce more energy in less space, reducing its footprint and landscape impact.”

European Energy has previously focused its operations on Denmark. There, it has made a 3TWh power purchase agreement with German utilities company RWE. Recently, it was granted approval for two offshore wind developments totalling 560MW.

At the end of 2019, the company recorded a raw earnings figure of $49.7m (€44.3m). Andersen put the 32% increase in earnings down to the world’s increasing environmental concern. He said: “We are confident that the expertise and knowledge of companies like European Energy will be in high demand for coming generations.”