Toshiba plans to build 100MW of PV capacity in Fukushima

The race to build Japan’s biggest solar project continues, with electronics giant Toshiba announcing plans to build plants with a total generating capacity of 100MW – trumping a plan by Kyocera, IHI and Mizuho to build a 70MW facility in southern Japan.

Toshiba says it will spend around ¥30bn ($379.6m) to build several large-scale solar plants in Fukushima, more than a year after an earthquake knocked out Tokyo Electric Power’s nuclear reactors in the prefecture.

The company expects to start construction on the solar plants before the end of the year and hopes to have operations begin sometime in 2014.

It states the combined plants will be Japan’s biggest, although Softbank has already announced plans to build a 200MW project in Hokkaido.

The company’s announcement comes after Japan approved the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FITs), which is expected to spur enormous growth in the country’s clean energy sector.

Earlier this month, the country’s industry ministry announced plans whereby PV system owners will be paid ¥42 per kWh from 1 July – among the most generous incentives in the world.

Analysts forecast that Japan’s domestic installed solar capacity will more than double this year to 2.2-2.5GW before rising steadily to about 3.4GW by 2015.