Gestamp enters Japan with 32MW PV

Gestamp Solar plans to start running its first PV plant in Japan, a 31.6MW project northeast of Tokyo, by April 2015.

The Spanish developer will install the array on a 40-hectare unused golf course in the town of Daigo, Ibaraki prefecture.

It will sell the electricity — enough to supply roughly 10,000 homes — to regional utility Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco).

It secured a ¥11.1bn ($109.6m) non-recourse loan with Deutsche Bank to finance construction of the plant. Gestamp Solar chief executive Jorge Barredo said the company would probably strike similar arrangements with Deutsche Bank in Japan in the future.

The unit of Gestamp Renewables launched its Japan business in 2012. It has developed more than 500MW of PV worldwide.

It is the latest in a string of companies to develop solar on former golf courses in Japan. The archipelago is littered with unused golf courses, many of them abandoned after the “bubble era” or shuttered after the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan in March 2011.

In June, Orix started constructing a 51MW solar project on a former golf course in the city of Tsu, Mie prefecture.

In April, Tokyu Land and Daiichi Life Insurance unveiled plans to invest an undisclosed sum in a 10MW PV installation on the island of Shikoku in Mitoyo, Kagawa prefecture.

In February, Mitsubishi Electric announced plans to supply PV modules, inverters and remote monitoring equipment for a 13.2MW project on a former golf course on the island of Kyushu in Tadewara, Nagasaki prefecture.

And last November, Eurus Energy and Canadian Solar announced plans to install 14MW of solar on an unused golf course on the border of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, on the island of Honshu.