E.ON expands its European solar power portfolio

As part of its commitment to the development of large-scale solar energy projects across Europe, E.ON has today announced the construction of two new installations in Italy- including the company’s biggest plant to date. Fiume Santo 2 (FS2) and 5 (FS5) will be the sixth and seventh photovoltaic plants developed by E.ON in the last 18 months. Together, they have a combined capacity of 29.6 MW. When FS2 is completed, it will generate 17.88 MW of renewable power from the sun and will be the biggest PV project in E.ON’s solar portfolio.

Situated in the Porto Torres area in the north-west of Sardinia, FS2 and FS5 will be located next to E.ON’s existing coal-fired power plant, -Fiume Santo. Both projects use crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules. Constructions of FS2 and FS5 started in June and July respectively. At full capacity, the two plants will generate enough power to meet the annual average needs of approximately 20,000 households.

Christophe Jurczak, E.ON Head of Solar PV, said: “I am delighted that we have successfully commissioned, in the last nine months, five PV ground-farms in France and Italy, with a combined capacity of 23.6 MW. With the completion of FS2 and FS5 at the end of 2011, we will have built a European PV portfolio with a capacity of more than 60 MW, delivering on our commitment to supply ‘cleaner and better energy’.”

As well as supplying renewable power, the construction of the two Italian solar power plants will also contribute to the economy of the Porto Torres region. During construction, around 100 residents will be involved.

“Within the framework of a three-year-construction plan for PV installations, E.ON agreed with the Sardinian Regional Authority to contribute to the environmentally sustainable development of the Porto Torres area,” added Christophe Jurczak. “Our projects will offer local value and economic investment until 2014.”

Industrial-scale solar energy is one of E.ON’s growth businesses. In 2009, E.ON installed its first Italian PV asset on the Fiume Santo site, with a capacity of 1.4 MW. Two additional plants, located in provinces of Taranto and Alessandria and with a combined capacity of 9 MW, have been built at the end of 2010. Two further plants in the provinces of Pavia (2.7 MW) and Viterbo (4 MW) were completed in spring this year.

E.ON is one of the world’s leading power and gas companies. E.ON Climate & Renewables, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, is responsible for E.ON Group’s global renewables and climate protection activities. E.ON is investing 2.6 billion Euros in renewable generation and climate protection projects from 2011 to 2013, and will play a leading role in the development of the renewables industry worldwide. E.ON is already active in on- and offshore wind technology, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), Solar PV, and biomass. E.ON currently has over 8 GW of renewable capacity in operation, including large-scale hydroelectric stations, which makes the company a leading global renewable player.