Goldman's big plans for Japan RE

Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs plans to invest in Japanese solar, wind and other renewable energy projects worth up to ¥300bn ($2.9bn) over the next five years.

Goldman will take on projects with partners via Japan Renewable Energy (JRE) – a wholly-owned renewables development unit it set up last August.

JRE will start by investing ¥13bn to develop a 40MW utility-scale PV plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

Construction will begin in June on a 50-hectare plot of land in the city of Mito, JRE said in a Japanese-language statement.

The plant will come online in January 2015, a Goldman spokesperson tells Recharge, and is expected to generate enough electricity for 12,000 homes.

JRE will sell the electricity generated to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) under Japan’s feed-in tariff system.

JRE was not available to comment further and no information is available on a panel supplier.

The spokesperson said Goldman Sachs would consider what project investment opportunities are available before deciding on its next steps.

Goldman aims to eventually manage 1GW of energy assets in Japan, newspaper The Nikkei reported, without citing sources.

The US firm is said to be looking to support the ¥300bn it plans to see invested over the next five years via a mix of bank loans, project-financing deals and its own funds.