San Francisco headquartered ‘yield-co’ Pattern Energy could acquire a pipeline of up to 1GW of solar farm projects in Japan, having purchased a majority stake in Green Power Investment Corp.
Green Power Investment Corp is a Japanese renewable energy plant developer and operator, based in Tokyo. According to Pattern Energy, GPI has up to 1,000MW of “near and longer term projects” under development in its home country. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, it was highlighted that Pattern’s interest in these projects remains on a right of first offer (ROFO) basis.
Around 35% of NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Pattern Energy’s shares are held by Pattern Development. The two companies have an existing arrangement whereby Pattern Energy is given ROFO on projects developed by Pattern Development. Pattern Development claims to have a development pipeline of 3,500MW worldwide.
GPI’s chief executive Toshio Hori, who is also the company’s founder, said that along with the experience and expertise that Pattern Energy could bring to the table, he “specifically chose Pattern Development because of their knowledge, understanding and openness to conducting business in a manner mindful of the nuances of doing business in Japan”.
“We had a pipeline ripe for implementation and the timing could not have been better. We are very excited about our future together,” Hori concluded.
Japan has recently undergone some top-down market adjustment in its solar industry, following measures taken to resolve a deadlock sparked by the suspension in October of approvals for grid connection by five of the nation’s 10 electric utility companies. More stringent rules around feed-in tariff (FiT) accreditation and an acute shortage of available land mean that the already existing pipeline of over 50GW of utility-scale projects will likely remain the focus of foreign players in the Japanese market, at least until the expiry of the FiT in 2020.