Kyocera signs 430MW Japan PV plan

Kyocera and German PV developer Photovolt Development Partners have struck a basic agreement with three other companies to potentially develop a 430MW PV plant on a remote island in Nagasaki prefecture, Japan.

Photovolt Development Partners and the Kyoto-based PV manufacturer will work with engineering services provider Kyudenko, Orix and Mizuho Bank to build the plant on agricultural land on the island of Ukujima.

If constructed, it will be the largest PV project in Japan. It will also be the world’s biggest solar plant built on farmland, Kyocera said in an emailed statement.

The group will start construction in fiscal 2016. Kyocera, Kyudenko and Orix expect to invest roughly ¥150bn ($1.47bn) in the project.

Photovolt Development Partners started planning the Ukujima Mega Solar Park last year. The local authorities approved the plant in April 2014, according to Japanese-language media reports.

TeraSol, a special purpose company set up by Photovolt Development Partners, will manage the project. Kyocera and Kyudenko will handle construction and O&M.

The group will sell the electricity under Japan's feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar to regional utility Kyushu Electric Power, via undersea transmission lines connected to the nearby city of Sasebo, on the island of Kyushu.

The project will span approximately 6.3 million square metres across several sites, covering about 25% of the surface of tiny Ukujima.

The island (sometimes spelled "Ukushima") lies to the north of the isolated Goto archipelago, where Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (MoE) is testing a 2MW Hitachi floating wind turbine.

Last November, Kyocera, Kyudenko and several other companies turned on a 70MW solar plant in southern Kyushu. It was briefly Japan's largest PV project, until it was eclipsed by Marubeni's new 82MW solar plant in Oita prefecture, Kyushu.