The surge in solar activities in Japan is continuing with Tokyo-based Marubeni Corporation announcing plans to create a “mega-solar power business” by building an 81.5MW solar plant in Oita City, Japan.
The large-scale project will be constructed on 105,000 square metres of coastal industrial land owned by several organizations including its subsidiary Marubeni Ennex Corporation and Showa Denko K.K. Construction is scheduled to begin in November while the commissioning and start of the power plant are expected to commence after March 2014.
When complete, the plant is estimated to generate 87,000,000 kWh of electricity every year which is said to be enough to meet the annual electricity consumption of 30,000 homes. The power generated by the plant will be sold to Kyushu Electric Power Co. under a power purchase agreement which lasts for a duration of 20 years.
According to Marubeni, the power plant will be particularly useful for risk evaluation on future mega-solar power business. When complete and fully operational, the company will collect data on plant operation and maintenance and troubles, as well as on the effective utilization of long-unused land.
This Oita mega-solar project is being promoted jointly by Marubeni’s Energy Division-1 and Power Projects and Infrastructure divisions. It will also utilize PV modules handled by its Chemicals division.
Since the introduction of Japan’s feed-in tariff in July, the country has seen a significant interest in solar investments. In September, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) approved a total of 476MW of projects — 338MW of non-residential projects and 138MW of residential projects.