First Solar heading to Japan to build PV power plants and tap residential market

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

With an initial plan to invest around US$100 million, First Solar said it would build PV power plants in the booming Japanese market, both directly and with Japanese companies in partnership. Japan has not previously been a target market for First Solar with its CdTe thin-film modules.

The company noted that the Japanese government has set a target to install 28GW by 2020. Market research firms are in alignment that the Japanese market  – in the next two years is expected to one of the largest after China – spurring overall record global demand.

Joseph Kishkill, Chief Commercial Officer, First Solar, said, “First Solar is the world’s largest developer of solar power plants, and a global leader providing solar technology solutions. We plan to invest in Japan by developing solar power plants both with our own team and through local partners. We believe this strategy will accelerate the adoption of clean and safe solar power in Japan. We welcome partnerships with Japanese companies who seek project investments and complete solar solutions.”

The company said that it had established a Japan operating subsidiary, First Solar Japan GK, and opened an office in Tokyo.

JX Nippon to sell TetraSun c-Si modules in Japan

First Solar also said in a separate statement that it had signed a distribution agreement through April 2015 to sell its yet to be produced high-performance TetraSun developed monocrystalline modules in Japan to the residential market through JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation.

“JX Nippon is the market leader in Japan in refining and marketing of oil through its ENEOS brand, and is also engaged in new energy business in order to strive to become an integrated energy company. Hiroya Nishijima, SVP, JX Nippon, said, “TetraSun, manufactured by First Solar, is a unique technology that can deliver high performance and high quality solar energy solutions. The agreement will provide a new and valuable option for our customers.”

First Solar had noted when it acquired TetraSun that one of its aims was to distribute the technology in Japan.

TetraSun's majority shareholder had been JX Nippon.

James Hughes, CEO, First Solar, said, “JX’s far-reaching distribution and our technology expertise will combine to deliver high quality solar power solutions to Japan.”

High-performance branded modules have long been the preferred choice in the Japanese residential market due to typically smaller rooftop space. Companies such as Panasonic (HIT) modules and SunPower’s Maxeon-cell based modules have strong market penetration.

Module shipments accounted for approximately 26% of SunPower's volume in the recently reported third quarter of 2013, a 130% increase, year-over-year. 

SunPower operates in the Japanese residential market through electronics giant, Toshiba and has provided modules already for utility-scale projects in Japan this year.

Denis De Ceuster, CEO of TetraSun spent 12-years at SunPower, which included a spell as director of solar cell R&D.

Production of TetraSun's cell/module technology is expected to start in 2014. Certifications, including those required for the Japanese market are rumoured to be ongoing.

28 July 2021
LONGi has launched its Hi-MO N module, the company's first bifacial module with N-type TOPCon cells, designed to deliver ultra- high value and lower LCOE to utility-scale PV power plants. This PV TechTalk Product Series webinar will provide an overview of the module’s technology and how the introduction of n-type technologies will provide efficiency and performance gains for solar project developers.
29 July 2021
This free webinar will explore the ongoing opportunities in the UK solar PV market, looking at global technology trends and how they apply to the UK. Join us for an overview of the project pipeline and forecast for deployment over the coming years. We'll be looking at the types of modules available and being used in the UK and presenting a case study on the deployment of bifacial modules in this market.
19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?

Read Next

July 23, 2021
As solar continues to proliferate and spread into new markets, the technology is finding itself operating in tougher climates than ever before. PV Tech talks to research institute QEERI to learn more about the heightened risk of soiling in the desert, the growing prominence of abrasion and some surprising results from temperature coefficient testing.
July 23, 2021
China could install up to 65GW of solar this year, driven largely by a surge in demand for distributed solar installations, while average solar deployment could reach 90GW per year in the years leading up to 2025.
July 23, 2021
EDF has secured a contract to lead the development of a 240MWp floating solar project in Laos that will be co-located with a 1.08GW hydropower plant.
July 23, 2021
Polysilicon manufacturer Daqo New Energy has completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of its main operational subsidiary Xinjiang Daqo New Energy on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Sci-Tech innovation board.
PV Tech Premium
July 23, 2021
A reduction in deployment costs combined with technology gains mean solar-plus-storage is an increasingly attractive option for off-grid mining operations looking to cut emissions. Jules Scully looks at successful case studies and the opportunity ahead.
July 23, 2021
German solar developer and distributor BayWa r.e. has rebranded Enable Energy, which it acquired in September 2020, as BayWa r.e. Power Solutions

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
July 29, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021