3Sun Gigafactory: discovering the largest “Sun Factory” in Europe

3Sun Gigafactory: discovering the largest “Sun Factory” in Europe

February 6, 2023, a sunshiny day for Italy: a hub of technological excellence is born in Catania for Italy’s energy independence.

In the heart of the Etna Valley, the expansion project has begun to enlarge the 3Sun Gigafactory, aka the “Sun Factory,” which by 2024 will be the largest in Europe for the production of high-performance photovoltaic panels with a production capacity of 3GW per year and one-of-a-kind technology.

From Catania, to tell us about this strategic project for Italy, is our CEO, Francesco Starace, the Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, the Director-General for Energy of the European Commission, Ditte Juul Jørgensen, the President of the Region of Sicily, Renato Schifani, and the Catania Municipality’s Special Commissioner - Prefect - Prefect Piero Mattei.


Technological leadership

Since its inauguration in July 2011, the 3Sun Gigafactory has achieved record-breaking milestones in its lifetime, making important strides toward Italian and European technological leadership in the photovoltaic supply chain. It has brought together research, innovation and sustainability with a strong focus on traceability of materials and the reduction of the carbon footprint and waste products that, with a view to circularity, are recovered during the production process itself or destined for new uses.

A pioneering facility on a global scale that will strengthen the European supply chain for renewables and accelerate the energy transition thanks to the high efficiency of the photovoltaic modules based on silicon heterojunction technology (HJT) that guarantee markedly higher performance levels with respect to other modules on the market. In the coming years, this technology will evolve into the innovative “Tandem” technology that will significantly exceed the efficiency of photovoltaic cells by more than 30% and further improve panel reliability.


The project, called “TANGO” (iTaliAN Giga factOry), leverages an investment of about 600 million euros, including nearly 118 million euros awarded under the European Innovation Fund’s first call, the Innovation Fund, for large-scale projects.

A further step in our commitment to #EnelperlItalia, to the development of renewables and the growth of the local economy is with the creation of new jobs. During the meeting, the selection of 550 secondary school graduates was announced who will be hired to fill technical-operational positions within the factory in such areas as production, maintenance, auxiliary services, product quality and plant operation. With these new hires, 3Sun’s team, which already includes more than 200 people, will be expanded considerably, reaching about 900 people in total. Not only will the Gigafactory increase direct employment, but it will also generate a total of 1,000 indirect jobs, including current ones, by 2024.

A decade of advancements in this “Made in Italy” success story that was made possible thanks to the hard work and passion of people.

From the factory to the lab, for continuous innovation

The energetic and technological hub in Catania extends out to Passo Martino where our Innovation Lab is headquartered. The lab is open to startups, small and medium-sized businesses and Italian and global innovators, to share know-how and experiment increasingly effective and high-performance solutions in energy, solar and storage. Here we are testing new instruments for automatic cleaning of photovoltaic panels, the use of robotics and drones and floating photovoltaic systems.

A true technological campus, in line with our model of Open Innovation, but also an entrepreneurial accelerator which contributes to the growth and competitiveness of the photovoltaic supply chain towards an increasing energy freedom, independence and security for Italy and Europe.