Canadian Solar inaugurates 100MW PV project in Fukushima

Pattern Energy’s 29MW Futtsu solar project in Japan. Image: Pattern Energy.

Canadian Solar has commenced operation on its 100MW Azuma Kofuji solar project in Japan, its largest project in the country.

Located in the Fukushima Prefecture, the plant is equipped with Canadian Solar’s HiKu modules over 460 acres, the majority of which was converted from abandoned agricultural land. A power purchase agreement is in place with Tohoku Electric Power Company, with a rate of JPY36 (US$0.26) per Kwh for 18 years.

The project is forecast to generate around 106,000MWh of energy annually. Canadian Solar said that a portion of the installation’s electricity revenues will be shared with Fukushima City, to be reinvested in agricultural projects.

The Azuma Kofuji plant was financed by Nomura Capital Investment Co. with a construction debt of JPY24.5 billion (~US$175 million).

“We are proud to help reinvigorate the local community and economy in a region that was heavily hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Shawn Qu, chairman of Canadian Solar. “We want to ensure that local communities are long-term beneficiaries of clean, renewable energy, and we are proud to take part in rebuilding economic and energy resilience in the Fukushima hometowns while supporting Japan’s 2050 carbon neutrality ambitions.

“Furthermore, I am proud that our team persevered through a time of great economic and market uncertainty to bring this valuable project to good end.”

A recent industry report from Ember, CREA and IEEFA revealed that Japan saved US$5.6 billion in fossil fuel costs by deploying solar PV in the first half of 2022, and it was highlighted as one of the world economies most likely to see ‘exponential growth’ in its solar deployment through 2030.

Canadian Solar said that it has over 470MWp of utility-scale projects under construction or operational in Japan. This year the company announced its intention to take more control of its upstream manufacturing capacity, putting more emphasis on wafer, cell and ingot fabrication to mitigate its exposure to volatile pricing.

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