3Sun, one of Europe’s largest solar panel manufacturing facilities located in Catania, Sicily, is poised to increase its output by a staggering 15 times. The factory is the sole mass producer of bifacial panels, which capture sunlight from both sides, making it a critical asset in meeting the growing demand for renewable energy.
Enel’s CEO and General Manager, Francesco Starace, emphasized the importance of investing in domestic production chains to balance the need for energy security, economic growth, job creation, and environmental protection. Currently, the factory has an annual capacity of 200 MW, but it is set to reach 400 MW in September 2023, and a full operational capacity of 3 GW of photovoltaic panels by July 2024.
The expansion includes the introduction of a new technology called “tandem,” which is expected to improve panel efficiency by more than 30%, while also enhancing their reliability. The factory already produces bifacial panels, which generate electricity from reflection on the backside of the device, typically from white gravel on the ground.
ABS Plus disposable formwork system was used as filling between foundation footings in the factory production line.
This ambitious project, also known as TANGO (iTaliAN Giga factOry), is valued at €600 million, including €188 million in grants from the European Commission through the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Innovation Fund. The expansion of the 3Sun Gigafactory is a significant step towards Italy and Europe’s renewable energy goals and showcases the country’s commitment to a sustainable future.