BP Solar will construct the facilities. FRV will own and operate the plants, expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Milan [WorldofPhotovoltaics.com]

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Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), a global independent solar power producer, and BP Solar, one of the world’s leading solar companies, signed an agreement today to construct solar projects totalling 37.1 MW in Italy. FRV will invest €125 million (U.S. $167 million) for these new projects.

BP Solar will construct the facilities. FRV will own and operate the plants, expected to be completed by the end of this year. The development of these projects will create approximately 200 jobs in the construction phase and 15 permanent jobs in the operational phase. These plants are expected to meet the energy needs of about 28,000 households and avoid about 60,000 tons a year in greenhouse emissions.

“This deal adds to the five 1-MW solar plants we have already built in the region and to the 10-MW site we have started building in Lazio, and helps us expand in Italy,” says Andrea Fontana, country manager of FRV in Italy. “The agreement combines our ability in structured finance and project management with BP Solar’s industrial capabilities.”

“This agreement strengthens BP Solar’s photovoltaic business in Italy, a solar market we consider globally strategic,” says Gianni Chianetta, managing director of BP Solar Italia. “These latest projects add to the 8 MW we built in 2009, and to the 11 MW that are scheduled to be completed in the first six months of 2010. Partnering with reliable companies such as FRV is a core BP strategy that has allowed us to develop 1 GW of solar projects last year, with residential, commercial and large scale plants,” Chianetta added.

FRV owns a total of 205.9 MW in Spain, Italy, and the United States. Specifically, FRV has 123.94 MW in Spain (109.96 MW in operation and 13.98 under construction); 37.93 MW in U.S. (36.77 in operation and 1.16 under construction); and 44.04 MW under construction in Italy.

About photovoltaics in Italy
Italy has reached a new milestone of installed solar power with the implementation of its second Feed in Tariff (FIT) of over 1GW. With approximately 70,000 PV plants to be added to the 165MW deployed under the first FIT, Italy ranks second in solar deployment in Europe, following Germany. Italy’s solar industry today consists of about 1,000 businesses in the production, distribution and installation of systems and components sectors. The value of solar projects in Italy by the end of 2009 is estimated to be 2.5 billion Euros, employing directly or indirectly approximately 20,000 people.

About FRV
FRV is an independent power producer that develops, owns and operates solar power plants around the world. FRV has offices in Madrid (Spain), San Francisco (U.S.) and Torino (Italy). FRV is owned by GE Energy Financial Services, Landon Group and Qualitas Venture Capital. One of the largest solar power companies in the world, FRV has over 200 megawatts in operation and construction, and more than 1,000 megawatts under development across the United States and Europe.

About BP Solar
BP Solar, part of BP Alternative Energy, is a global company with about 1,600 employees. BP Solar designs and markets solar energy products and provides complete solar energy solutions for the residential, commercial, industrial and utility sectors. With over 37 years of experience and installations in most countries, BP Solar is one of the world’s leading solar companies. BP Solar invests more than $10M annually in photovoltaic research and development.

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