Tokyo-based egg producer ISE Group, French energy company Total and SunPower Corporation, have started construction of a 27MW solar PV plant at Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Honshu Island in Japan.
ISE Group will own 50% of the plant, meanwhile Total and its affiliate SunPower will share the remaining 50%. Total owns a 60% share in SunPower.
The project, valued at JPY10 billion (US$89 million), will be financed through non-recourse project debt arranged by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC). It will use Maxeon solar panels from SunPower and has been designed to meet stringent Japanese earthquake-resistant building standards.
The project is expected to reach commercial operation in Q1 of 2017 and to generate roughly 29GWh of power per year over the first 20 years.
Bernard Clement, Total senior vice-president, business and operations, new energies, said: “Total has been present in Japan since 1957 and remains very committed to the country. […]Maximizing the electricity output is key in the Japanese market given the local irradiation and the complex topography of the country. We look forward to further developing our solar activities in Japan and throughout the Asia region.”
Hikonobu Ise, chairman of the ISE Group, said: "ISE Group is pleased to launch construction of one of the largest PV plants in the Hokuriku region. As a company which has been providing eggs to customers across the nation for more than 100 years, we are now able to contribute to the region by providing clean electricity through PV projects using our lands.
“We will continue to aggressively develop PV business not only in other regions in Japan but also in other South Eastern Asian countries."
PV Tech looked in detail at the Japanese solar market after attending the PV Expo event in Japan earlier this month.