Independent power producer Etrion, headquartered in Geneva, has announced details of two forthcoming PV projects in Japan and confirmed that both will receive the feed-in tariff. Etrion also announced that it is targeting a “construction or shovel-ready” solar project pipeline of 100MW in Japan by 2015.
In early January the company announced a strategic partnership agreement with Hitachi High Technologies Corporation (Hitachi Hi-Tech) to cover the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility scale solar power plants in Japan.
Etrion announced that the first two solar power plants will have a combined capacity of 34MW. One will be built in Shizukuishi, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan (24.7MW) and the other in Mito, in the centre of the country with a capacity of 9.3MW.
Electricity from the Mito plant, which will produce around 10,000,000kWh per year, will be sold over 20 years at JPY 40 per kWh (USD 0.39 per kWh. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year, scheduled for completion in the first half of next year. Etrion announced that the project is expected to cost around USD 30 million, with the majority financed by long-term, non-recourse project debt from a Japanese lending institution. Of the remainder, 85% will be financed by Etrion and 15% by Hitachi Hi-Tech.
The Shizukuishi plant will receive the FiT at the same rate, with construction expected to begin in the second half of this year. The plant will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2015. The Shizukuishi plant will cost around US$75 million in total. The majority will again be financed by long-term, non-recourse project debt from a Japanese financial institution, with the remainder funded by Etrion and Hitachi Hi-Tech in a similar 85%-15% equity arrangement.