The European Investment Bank (EIB) will give $720m (€500m) in funding for EDF Energies Nouvelles (EDF EN)’s solar photovoltaic projects in France and Italy under a new memorandum of understanding.

The two ground-based solar pilot projects to receive investment in early 2010 are the Gabardan farm in France, and the Loreo solar farm in Italy.

The solar plants will be equipped with thin-film photovoltaic technology from First Solar. EIB will provide up to 50% of the financing for each project.

The investment programme will cover EDF EN’s solar photovoltaic projects in these countries between 2010 and 2012.

The financing structure will be replicated for each subsequent investment carried out under this programme.