Sojitz into Japan PV with 106MW

Trading firm Sojitz is jumping into Japan’s utility-scale solar industry for the first time by investing roughly ¥35bn ($363m) in 106MW of PV at four sites across the country.

The Tokyo-based conglomerate has not chosen a panel supplier, a spokesperson told Recharge, refuting Japanese media reports that South Korea’s LG Electronics will provide modules for all four projects.

Sojitz will start by overseeing development of a 9MW installation near Koshimizu, on the northern island of Hokkaido. It aims to complete the project by November 2014. 

In late 2016, it plans to finish building a 71MW plant in Rokkasho, Aomori prefecture. It will also oversee construction of two 13MW sites in Mihama, Aichi prefecture, and Nishikicho, Kumamoto prefecture, but did not reveal specific timelines.

Sojitz has already invested in two solar projects in Germany, including a 24MW site in the town of Mixdorf. In 2010, it purchased a 20% stake in a 44MW wind farm near Lüderitz, Namibia.

Sojitz has interests spanning energy, automotive, aerospace and IT. It expects to post a turnover of about 4.3tn yen ($44bn) this year.