MILAN, Italy ( TheStreet) -- MEMC Electronic Materials' ( WFR) utility-scale solar project developer SunEdison plans to build a photovoltaic solar project operating in Italy that will generate more than 60 megawatts (MW) plant, Reuters Milan bureau reported on Tuesday.

Let the Italian solar boom -- and solar boasting -- begin.

The anonymous source told Reuters that the Italian power plant will become the biggest in the world, operating by the end of 2010 at a level exceeding the capacity of Spain's Almedilla de Alarcon plant.

Earlier on Tuesday, SunPower ( SPWRA) said it was building to 1 MW solar plants in Italy.

SunEdison's solar facility is to be built in the northern Italian province of Rovigo, Reuters reported.

SunPower indicated that its two plants would be built in Casamassima and Conversano, and completed by August.

This solar earnings season has showcased the burgeoning role of Italy as a replacement market for excess solar demand once the German market wanes in the second half of the year.

Solar company management teams have repeatedly noted the boom expected in Italy after the German feed-in tariffs go into effect in July, and ahead of an expected reduction in Italian feed-in tariffs in January 2011.

Suntech Power ( STP) management noted that the demand in Germany is so strong right now, there are not enough electricians to install solar in Italy. However, Suntech is among the solar companies that expect a huge pull-in of solar capacity in Italy during the second half of the year.

The jury is still out on how large the Italian boom will be -- though it is definitely the largest market in Europe after Germany. Still, there are questions about the ability of all the intended Italian projects to be started before the expiration of the feed-in tariff.

What's more, there are larger concerns that the solar industry has not learned its lesson from Spain and Germany, and Italy will just be another boom-before-bust market.

A presentation by MEMC and SunEdison management in Italy is expected on Thursday.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.


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