Sharp and Enel Green Power Begin Operation of Solar Power Plants at Five Sites in Italy

Sharp Corporation (below, "Sharp") and Enel Green Power(1) (below, "EGP"), announce that their joint venture company, Enel Green Power & Sharp Solar Energy S.r.l. (below, "ESSE"), which the two companies established in July 2010 for IPP business(2), began new operations at the end of March 2012 at solar power plants at five sites in Italy with a total capacity of 14.4 MW.

These five solar power plants use thin-film solar cell modules manufactured by 3Sun S.r.l., an equal joint venture of Sharp, EGP, and ST Microelectronics(3) established for the integrated production of thin-film solar cells which began operations in December 2011. The total installed capacity of solar cells at the five locations is approximately 14.4 MW, and the annual power generation is projected to be 19.5 million kWh, equivalent to the annual energy consumption of approximately 7,200 typical Italian households. This will help reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 10,000 tons.

Thin-film solar cells, in addition to using less natural resources and requiring fewer steps in the production process, feature high long-term reliability and offer superior power generating efficiency in hot-climate regions. They are expected to find application in mega-solar projects around the globe. In the European Union (EU), it is estimated that renewable energy will account for at least 55% of end-user energy consumption by 2050, and installation of large-scale solar power plants in regions with long hours of daylight, and therefore large amounts of solar radiation, is expected to expand.

In the future, ESSE plans to construct multiple solar power plants with a total generating capacity of more than 500 MW by the end of 2016. With the addition of these five sites, it has six solar power plants in commercial operation in Italy with total capacity of approximately 20 MW. In the future, ESSE will continue to expand its solar power business in Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean area, as well as in the Middle East and Africa, leveraging the strength of its thin-film solar cell modules produced in Italy.

Sharp Corporation (TSE: 6753) is a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics. As a leader in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital technologies, Sharp offers one of the broadest and most advanced lines of consumer electronics, information products and electronic components, while also creating new network businesses.