Japan’s biggest power company Jera and compatriot renewables engineering outfit West Holdings have finalised a deal to develop at least 1GW of solar plant “through to the end 2025” in their domestic market.

Based on the ‘alliance’ agreement, the pair plan to build large-scale PV projects “at new sites and former Jera power plant sites”, with a view to transforming the Tokyo-headquartered company into one of Japan’s largest solar power producers.

“Aiming to become a global leader in renewable energy by 2025, Jera is actively engaged in the development of renewable energy projects,” said the company. “Jera will continue to work with various companies in Japan and overseas to expand the installed capacity of renewable energy and to achieve its [corporate] objective of zero CO2 emissions [by] 2050.

“Amid calls for energy decarbonisation to achieve a decarbonised society by 2050, solar power generation, with its established technology and relatively short construction period, is a promising near-term option for increasing the installed capacity of renewable energy in Japan.”

Through the deal, Jera – which has taken a 2.3% stake in West Holdings – will also buy generation from the plants built in partnership “and explore joint solar power business opportunities for third parties in Japan and overseas”.

Jera, which is responsible for some 10% of the Asian island nation’s emissions – set out its energy transition vision in 2015 when it was founded as a joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power to “spark a clean-energy economy” in the country by accelerating the expansion of its renewables portfolio toward 5GW by mid-decade.

West Holdings has a target of partnering on 2GW of renewables generating capacity in Japan and overseas, centred on PV plants.