Kyocera unveils plans for 70MW PV plant in southern Japan

Module supplier Kyocera and two partners plan to build a 70MW PV plant in Kagoshima City in southern Japan.

Kyocera says it has reached a “basic agreement” with Mizuho Corporate Bank and IHI Corporation to construct the facility, provisionally called the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega-Solar Power Plant.

The project – said to be the largest yet to be officially announced in Japan – will cost about $309m and cover more than 1.25 million square metres on a site owned by infrastructure group IHI.

Construction will start this year but no completion date is given. The partners expect the electricity produced to be bought by Kyushu Electric Power under new Japanese regulations that govern the purchase of renewable output by utilities.

Kyocera will supply 290,000 multicrystalline modules to the project. Kyoto-based Kyocera will also be involved in construction and maintenance of the solar farm.

IHI will lease the land and “actively participate in the operation of the project” while Mizuho will take the lead in arranging financing for the plant.

A statement from the partners says: “Expectations and interest in solar energy have heightened to a new level in Japan with the planned July 1 start of a revamped feed-in tariff (FIT) programme and the need to resolve power supply issues caused by the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

“Under these circumstances the three companies have reached this basic agreement as they believe that it is their corporate responsibility to proactively tackle environmental problems.”

The trio will form a special-purpose company to take the project forward and "further explore a business model for utility-scale solar power generation".