Siemens says that it is expecting to take more orders for solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Mediterranean region following an order from Norwegian utility Statkraft for a 3.3 MWp facility in Italy.

The plant will be Statkraft’s first solar park and the order is a signal that the German engineering firm’s plans to expand its solar business is proceeding well, says Siemens. Statkraft is investing around EUR13 million in the project.

Under the turnkey order, Siemens will build a ground-based PV plant in Casale, 60 km south of Rome that will be capable of supplying electricity to over 1200 households. Siemens will handle the project management including the engineering and construction of the plant.

“The first photovoltaic order from the utility Statkraft proves that we are also on the right track with the expansion of our solar business,” said René Umlauft, CEO of the Renewable Energy Division at Siemens Energy. “Here, Siemens is focusing on the development and implementation of large capacity solar plants for industrial and energy customers.

“In the coming months we are anticipating further orders for projects in the Mediterranean region.”

Siemens will supply 15 700 crystalline solar modules to the plant as well as solar inverters, transformers, cabling, the grid connection and the entire civil works. Commissioning of the solar plant is scheduled for December 2009.

“Italy is presently one of the most attractive solar energy markets in Europe,” said Olav Hetland, Senior Vice President of Business Unit Solar Power in Statkraft. “We are also looking at options in Spain and Southeast Europe in order to reach our goal of 75 MW solar power by 2012.”