Japan photovoltaic solar power energy to be largest in country

The solar power station will help Japan address its power needs, which increased following the 2011 earthquake that also triggered the disaster at the nuclear power station.

With 209,000 solar panels, it will be the largest solar power station ever built in Japan and will help reduce CO2 emissions by about 25,000 tons a year and could account for 40% of solar energy generated in Japan

Kyocera Corporation (herein "Kyocera"), IHI Corporation (herein "IHI") and Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. (herein "Mizuho CB") announced that the three companies have reached a basic agreement to construct a 70-megawatt (MW) solar power plant in southern Japan and to further explore a business model for utility-scale solar power generation. The "mega-solar power plant" is being built to help solve Japan’s power supply issues caused by the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to make a contribution to environmental protection, including the reduction of CO2 emissions.

To be built in Kagoshima City (Kagoshima Prefecture), the solar power project is being undertaken by combining the strengths of the three companies: Kyocera utilizing its more than 35 years of experience in the solar business; IHI implementing its proactive stance on promoting the increased use of renewable energy; and Mizuho CB applying its wide-ranging finance knowledge.

Within the agreement, the Kyocera Group will be responsible for the supply of 100% of the solar modules and part of the construction & maintenance of the system; IHI will lease the land and actively participate in the operation of the project; and Mizuho CB will devise a financing plan for the project. Furthermore, a special-purpose company will be established to undertake the business operation of the mega-solar plant, with Kyocera planning to become the largest shareholder. In the process of exploring the feasibility of the new business, Kyocera and IHI have enlisted the support of and plan to get cooperation for investment in the special-purpose company from KDDI Corporation; Kyudenko Corporation; Kagoshima Bank, Ltd.; Takenaka Corporation and others.

With the cooperation of the Kagoshima prefectural and municipal governments and others in the local area, the companies seek to both revitalize the local area, and through the spread of renewable energy use, to contribute to the preservation of the environment and the advancement of society.

The planned site of the solar power plant is approximately 1,270,000m2 (approx. 314 acres) of land owned by IHI — roughly the same area as 27 baseball stadiums. The total project cost is estimated at approximately 25 billion yen (approx. 309 million US dollars*1), with construction to commence in July of this year.

Plans for the plant include exclusive use of approximately 290,000 Kyocera multicrystalline solar modules, with a total capacity of 70MW, becoming the largest officially announced solar power plant in Japan. The planned 70MW of solar power generation is equal to almost 40% of the total amount of public/industrial-use solar power equipment shipped domestically in CY2011*2. The approximately 79,000MWh of annual electricity generated will provide the equivalent power for roughly 22,000 average households*3, and will help to offset roughly 25,000 tons of CO2 per year*4.

Expectations and interest in solar energy have heightened to a new level in Japan with the planned July 1 start of a revamped feed-in tariff (FIT) program and the need to resolve power supply issues caused by the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Under these circumstances the three companies have reached this basic agreement as they believe that it is their corporate responsibility to proactively tackle environmental problems.

Solar Power Project Overview

Project name: Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega-Solar Power Plant (tentative name)

Participating companies: Kyocera Corporation; IHI Corporation; Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.
Planned support from KDDI Corporation; Kyudenko Corporation; Kagoshima Bank, Ltd.; Takenaka Corporation

Power output: 70MW (largest in Japan, as of April 9, 2012; based on officially announced projects)

(The power generated is envisioned to be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. in line with the Japanese Bill on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities)
Location: 2 Nanatsujima, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Area: 1,270,000m2

Total investment: Approx. 25 billion yen

Project timeline: June 2012: Establishment of special-purpose company
July 2012: Start of construction

Note: Project details may change depending on the final purchasing price and conditions of the aforementioned Bill.