TOKYO (Nikkei)–An growing number of Japanese firms are looking to get into the large-scale solar power generation market.
Their moves come just as the Diet is deliberating a bill that would require utilities to purchase all power generated from renewable energy sources. The passage of the bill would make it easier for market entrants to recoup their investments.
Megasolar power stations have a capacity of 1 megawatt or higher. They take up a large area of land because current solar-cells technology is inefficient at converting sunlight into electricity.
West Holdings Corp. (1407), a builder of solar power generation systems, is looking to begin operation of a megasolar system in Fukuoka Prefecture next summer.
The company plans to lease a 10,000-sq.-meter plot of land in Toho, where land prices are low, but located close to power-consuming areas. The investment in the site with a capacity of around 1.5 megawatts is estimated at 600-700 million yen.
Eurus Energy Holdings Corp., Japan’s largest wind power generator, is also considering entering the domestic solar power market. The company operates solar power generation businesses in South Korea and other countries, and is currently constructing a 45-megawatt megasolar station in the U.S.
Eurus is looking at candidate sites in Shiranuka, Hokkaido, and Misaki, Osaka Prefecture. These plants are expected to have an output capacity of 10-20 megawatts.
Softbank Corp. (9984) is planning to work with prefectural governments to build at least ten megasolar power stations nationwide. The firm is also considering cooperating with Kyoto and 16 other ordinance-designated cities in the project.
Mitsui & Co. (8031) and Tokyo Marine Asset Management Co. also plan to invest in the building of 1-2 megawatt megasolar power stations in at least ten areas, including the Tohoku region.
Filed under: 5.Climate Change & Carbon