KGAL has been given the green light to build three large-scale solar photovoltaic projects in Italy.

The solar parks the Lazio region and Sicily will have a total output of approximately 380 megawatts and will be connected to the grid from the beginning of 2024.

The projects form part of a wider programme to develop solar and wind parks with a total capacity of more than 1.2 gigawatts in Italy.

The investments are being made on behalf of two funds, ESPF 4, which raised €750m in 2019, and ESPF 5, which is currently being marketed to investors.

KGAL said the combination of strong solar radiation and above-average electricity prices made Italy one of the most attractive markets in Europe for solar PV projects.

The Italian government has also encouraged the expansion of renewable energy with the introduction of legislative initiatives in the past year. KGAL said this would see the share of green energy within the total energy consumption rise from 20% in 2020 to 30% in 2030.

“The approval procedures have become much simpler and faster,” says Michael Ebner, managing director of sustainable infrastructure at KGAL Investment Management.

“KGAL, which is one of the largest solar PV investors in Italy, is benefiting from the growing momentum with its renewable energy funds and is, in turn, making a significant contribution to achieving the expansion targets.”

The largest of the three solar parks to be built by KGAL, Tuscania, is one of the largest solar parks ever approved in Italy with a capacity of 150 megawatts.

The nearby Vitorchiano solar park will have around 90 megawatts, while Pietra Monreale in Sicily has an installed capacity of 140 megawatts.

Pietra Monreale is part of KGAL’s project pipeline in Sicily, which will be expanded to 700 megawatts of installed capacity in several sections over the next few years.

KGAL ESPF 4 accounts for one part of this pipeline and KGAL ESPF 5 accounts for the remainder.

KGAL ESPF 5 recently acquired a majority stake in Italian project developer Baltex Progetti, which has a solar and wind pipeline of more than 300 megawatts of capacity.

“KGAL ESPF 5, which had its first closing last December, continues to pursue the very successful core-pluus strategy of its predecessor, but also complies with the even stricter ESG criteria for SFDR Article 9 funds,” said Florian Martin, managing director with responsibility for institutional clients at KGAL Investment Management.

“Within a matter of months, the fund management team was able to allocate more than 50% of the fund’s initial capital to four projects. Following the successful launch of the fund, investor interest in KGAL ESPF 5 remains strong.”