Japanese home electronics company Sharp and Italy’s largest power company Enel are launching a joint venture to develop a number of photovoltaic power plants by the end of 2012. The joint business is expected to start in Q2 of 2009. Plans include the construction of power plants, mainly in southern Italy, with a total output capacity of 189 megawatts (MW), using thinfilm solar cells. The two companies are to invest about $1bn in the joint venture between 2009 and 2012. Sharp and Enel also plan to build a thin-film solar cell production factory in Italy with another European firm and to start operations in mid-2010 with an annual output capacity of 480MW.