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November 27, 2008

Sharp to Sign Joint Venture Agreement for Photovoltaic Power Generation Business and MOU for Production of Thin-Film Solar Cells with Italian Power Company, Enel

Sharp Corporation (below: “Sharp”) and Italy’s largest power company, Enel SpA (below: “Enel”), will establish a joint venture in the spring of 2009 to operate as an independent power producer (IPP*1) and will develop a number of photovoltaic power plants with a total capacity of 189 MW by the end of 2012.

A number of photovoltaic power plants will be set up mainly in southern Italy and will utilize thin-film solar cells, which offer superior power generating efficiency in hot-climate regions. The two companies are looking into expanding their IPP business in the future to cover countries of the Mediterranean region other than Italy with a view toward further strengthening their cooperative relationship.

Regarding cooperation in the production of thin-film solar cells, the plan is for Sharp, Enel, and a third European manufacturing company to construct a thin-film solar cell plant in Italy with the potential to expand annual production capacity to around 1 GW in the future. The initial phase of development will put in place a production system having an annual capacity of 480 MW, with the aim of starting operations around the middle of 2010.

The three companies are working out the details of establishing the joint venture to manufacture thin-film solar cells in Italy, and plan to sign a memorandum of understanding in December.

Geographically, Italy lies at the heart of a project adopted at the Union for the Mediterranean*2 summit held in July 2008, namely, a “Mediterranean solar plan” that aims to develop power generating facilities with a capacity of 20 GW by 2020. With an eye to such a plan, Sharp and Enel will work together in the future with the goal of strategically expanding renewable energy in Europe, including in the Mediterranean region.

Sharp is moving quickly to initiate the world’s first “solar business model” by joining with a power company in an integrated business approach—from manufacture of thin-film solar cells to IPP activities—and is actively working toward becoming a company providing total solutions based on solar cells.

*1 An Independent Power Producer (IPP) owns facilities to generate electric power for sale to utilities and end users.
*2 The Union for the Mediterranean is a community consisting of all 27 EU member countries along with 16 non-EU countries in the Middle East and Africa that border the Mediterranean Sea (43 countries in total). A long-range goal of the Union for the Mediterranean is the construction of power generating facilities in the Sahara Desert having a total capacity of 100 GW by the year 2050. Plans are being drawn up to transmit the power over a network of high-capacity power transmission lines installed between North Africa and various European countries.

Overview of Power Generating Business and Joint Venture

Joint venture location Italy (Rome)
Business description Construction of photovoltaic power plants; generation and sales of electricity
Target date for establishing company Spring of 2009
Amount of investment Approximately 100 billion yen (2009 to 2012)
Total power generating capacity 189 MW
Target region Southern Italy

Overview of Cooperative Manufacturing Business

Planned construction location In Italy
Target date for start of operations Middle of 2010
Production item Thin-film solar cells
Plant size Approx. 1 GW
Production capacity 480 MW annually (at start of operations)

Profile of Enel SpA

Location Italy (Rome)
Founded Established as a government-operated electric company in 1962; privatized in 1999.
Capital 6.184 billion euros
Business overview Italy’s largest power company, and Europe’s second listed utility by installed capacity (the Italian government holds 31% of the company). Enel produces, distributes, and sells electricity and gas domestically and internationally (in 21 countries across Europe and North and Latin America).
Employees 73,500
Generating capacity 80,000 MW (for the 21 countries in total, of which, 19,000 MW is from renewable energy sources)
Annual sales revenue 43.673 billion euros

The above information is true and accurate at the time of publication. Manufacture, sale, price and specifications of products may be subject to change.

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