UPDATE 2-U.S.’s SunEdison to build solar plant in Italy

* SunEdison, Santander to invest 200-250 mln euros in plant

* Other projects worth 200 MW seen in the next few years

(Adds chairman quotes, dateline)

MILAN, March 11 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. solar company SunEdison
backed by Spain’s Banco Santander (SAN.MC: ) will invest 200-250
million euros to build Europe’s biggest solar plant in Italy
aiming to expand in the booming solar market there.

Investors ranging from banks and funds to families and
sports car maker Ferrari have piled into Italy’s solar market,
Europe’s third-largest, lured by a generous incentive scheme
launched in 2007 and due to expire this year.

SunEdison, a unit of silicon maker MEMC Electronic Materials
Inc (WFR.N: ), said it would jointly develop the project in
northeastern Italy with Banco Santander and additional financial
partners are expected to join the project for final ownership.

“We are talking to Italian banks and we hope that one joins
the project. The investment is expected at about 200-250 million
euro ($271-$339 million) and it will be shared 50 percent with
Banco Santander,” SunEdison Chairman Carlos Domenech told
Reuters in a telephone interview.

SunEdison aims to develop other projects in Italy with a 200
megawatt capacity in the next few years, he said.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported SunEdison’s plan to build the
plant, and said the project, which will use ground-mounted
photovoltaic systems which turns sunlight into power had
obtained all necessary authorisations. [ID:nLDE6281U7]

The 72 MW plant, expected to be the largest of its kind in
Europe, will start up the second half of 2010 and is due to
reach full capacity by the year end, SunEdison said on Thursday.

The plant will occupy a 850,000 square metre area and
produce power enough to meet the needs of 17,000 families. It
will cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 41,000 tonnes a year,
equivalent to taking 8,000 cars off the road.

Italy is expected to double its installed PV capacity to
about 2,000 MW in 2010, before the government cuts the
incentives to bring them in line with falling PV system prices.

Germany’s Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE: ) said separately on Thursday
it would build 40 MW of PV plans in Italy. [ID:nWEB5069]
InvestmentĀ  Analysis

($1=.7369 Euro)
(Reporting by Adveith Nair in Bangalore and Giancarlo Navach in
Milan, writing by Svetlana Kovalyova)

UPDATE 2-U.S.’s SunEdison to build solar plant in Italy