TOKYO, Sept 12 Japan has approved more than
33,000 renewable energy projects that can receive subsidies
under a new energy law that took effect on July 1, as the
country phases out nuclear power after last year's Fukushima
Of those, 81 are solar power projects with capacity of 1
megawatt (MW) or more each, totalling 243 megawatts, data for
the first month of the scheme from the Ministry of Economy,
Trade and Industry (METI) showed.
Six wind power projects totalling 122 MW have also been
approved, as have homeowners and small companies which have
installed solar panels on their roofs, totalling 202 MW, and
small-sized hydro power projects coming to 0.2 MW.
These projects need to sign contracts with utilities by
March 2013 to allow them to sell electricity at the premium set
for the current business year, which runs until March
Below are some of the biggest renewable power projects
either approved by METI or being planned, according to company
announcements and media reports:
- Toshiba Corp, heavy machinery maker Hitachi Zosen
Corp, JFE Steel Corp and three other firms are
to jointly invest 120 billion yen ($1.5 billion) over 10 years
to set up offshore wind turbines with combined output of 300 MW.
- Trading firm Marubeni Corp and Wind Power Energy
have won the rights from Ibaraki Prefecture Government to build
separately two wind farms off the coast, north of Tokyo, with
total capacity of 250 MW. Construction is set to start around
- Softbank Corp has said it would build 10 solar
farms and a 48-MW wind farm by March 2015, with total capacity
of 230.2 MW. Of the 10 solar farms, it has two plants in Kyoto
city, western Japan, and Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo, with
combined capacity of 4.5 MW, already in operation.
- Zen-Noh, the country's main agricultural cooperative, will
install solar panels with total capacity of 200 MW at 400-600 of
its facilities by March 2015, costing 60 billion yen. Trading
house Mitsubishi Corp is involved in the project.
- Toshiba will build solar plants with total capacity of 100
MW on the tsunami-hit coastline of Fukushima prefecture, at a
cost of around 30 billion yen.
- Kyocera Corp, heavy machinery maker IHI Corp
and Mizuho Corporate Bank, will launch a 70-MW
solar plant in southern Japan.
- Engineering firm JGC Corp will construct and
operate a 27-MW solar power plant in the city of Oita, southern
Japan, at a total cost of 8 billion yen.
- A consortium of 10 companies and University of Tokyo will
build a floating wind farm off the coast of Fukushima
prefecture, north of Tokyo, with a total capacity of 16 MW. The
project, subsidised by METI, will start building a 2-MW floating
turbine this business year.
- Real estate company Mitsui Fudosan Co will
construct a 13-MW solar facility in Yamaguchi prefecture,
western Japan, on industrial land leased from Taiheiyo Cement
- Solar Frontier will enter the power utility market by
developing with Yano Industry Co two solar power plants in
Miyazaki Prefecture, southern Japan, with a combined capacity of
- Contractor Maeda Corp will install solar panels
at 5,000 convenience stores operated by Seven-Eleven Japan Co
nationwide, an order reported to be worth around 3.5
- Lawson Inc will put solar panels made by Solar
Frontier and Panasonic Corp on the roofs of
2,000 of its convenience stores nationwide in two years.
- Leasing company Orix Corp and West Holdings Corp
will operate solar farms with a total capacity of 500
MW to be constructed at 250 locations across the nation. A total
of 100 billion yen is expected to be spent over five years.
- Orix will invest approximately 24 billion yen over the
next three years to build 100 MW of solar facilities on top of
more than 100 buildings.
- Mitsui & Co and Tokio Marine Asset Management Co
will construct 20 solar plants nationwide in two years,
with capacity of a total 60 MW, to be financed by infrastructure
funds the two companies will launch.
- The city of Sapporo on the northern island of Hokkaido
will install solar modules on the roofs of all 311 of its public
primary, middle and high schools.
- In the city of Uozu, Toyama prefecture, a project led by
local businesses has led to the establishment of a roughly 1 MW
hydropower plant, with the project's cost of 1.05 billion yen
financed mainly by residents.
($1 = 78.2900 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Risa Maeda and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Daniel