More than 11 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity have been installed in Japan over the past two years, when the country’s notable feed-in tariff incentive plan was launched, according to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
To be exact, the number was 11,090 megawatts — installed in the period from July 2012 to the end of June 2014. Of that total figure, 10,880 MW of the installed capacity was via solar energy projects.
As it stands currently, Japan has approved 71,780 MW of renewable energy projects, with solar representing 96% of the approved capacity, according to METI data.
On that note, a 231 MW solar energy project is now in the process of being developed in western Japan, with General Electric Company and a number of partners borrowing 90 billion yen ($822 million) from a number of Japanese banks to fund the project. The project will be built in Okayama prefecture by GE Energy Financial Services, Toyo Engineering Corporation, and Kuni Umi Asset Management Co, according to a recent press statement. Construction is expected to begin in November, with an opening sometime in 2019.
Yasuyo Yamazaki, the president and chief executive officer of Kuni Umi Asset Management, stated: “In addition to the Setouchi solar project, we developed a mega-solar power plant in Mito-city Ibaraki Prefecture and started the construction of a woodchip biomass fuel power plant in Kawaminami-cho, Miyazaki Prefecture. Now we are planning a wind farm in Nakadomari-cho, Aomori Prefecture. With these projects, we are contributing to the Ideal Region Development with renewable energy.”
And Sushil Verma, a managing director and Japan business leader at GE Energy Financial Services, noted: “Japan’s favorable regulatory policies make solar power attractive and diversify the country’s power generation sources. For us, the Kuni Umi project expands our international and renewable energy footprints, which already include investment commitments of $1.8 billion in equity and debt in more than one gigawatt of solar power projects worldwide.”
In addition to financing, GE will also supply some of the inverters to be used in the project — which will mean the Japanese debut of the GE 1 MW Brilliance Solar Inverter.