SunPower scores 29MW Japan order

SunPower has agreed to supply 29MW of PV modules for a solar project on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu.

It did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Zach Struyk, senior director of SunPower's East Asia operations, told Recharge at PV Japan 2014 that the order is the company's biggest so far in Kyushu.

Independent power producer (IPP) Nangoku did not say when it expects to finish building the solar plant in Hioki, Kagoshima prefecture.

It chose California-based SunPower's E20/327 panels because it felt that they would be the most efficient modules to use in the hilly, constrained confines of the northern end of the Satsuma peninsula, where the project will be situated, Kagoshima-based Nangoku said in an online statement.

Nangoku — whose operations span energy, telecoms, construction and industrial machinery — is only running 12MW of PV capacity in Japan, but plans to eventually develop up to 200MW in Kyushu.

SunPower, majority-owned by French oil giant Total, is one of the most successful foreign panel suppliers in Japan. Approximately 25% of the PV modules it manufactured last year were sold in the country.

In addition, the company is actively seeking utility-scale PV investments in Japan, as it wants to develop new revenue streams in the Japanese market. But it has yet to announce any such deals in the country.

"We continue to be excited about the opportunity," Struyk said.