Wednesday, April 11, 2012

200MW Solar plant planned in Hokkaido, Japan

The Japan Times reported recently that telecommunications pioneer Softbank is planning to build 200MW solar power plant on the Northern island of Hokkaido. This, when realised, will dwarf all previous photovoltaic installations in Japan. Softbank is reported to be negotiating with the Hokkaido Electric Power Company over prices for the electricity.

Image by Solar Frontier in pv magazine

Just a couple of months before the new Renewable Energy feed-in tariff (FIT) system comes into effect on July 1, it has been reported that Softbank subsidiary SB Energy plans to build a 200 MW plant, over 480 hectares, near an industrial district in the city of Tomakomai, on the south of Hokkaido.

SB Energy has announced that it will establish solar power plants in other parts of Japan, but the Hokkaido plant will dwarf the others. The Japan Times reports that a plant near Kyoto is set to have a capacity of 4.2 MW, Gunma (2.4MW) and in Tokushima (5.6MW).

FiT rates out in July 2012

The final rates for the FIT has yet to be established but initial figures indicate that they may be at levels which could make installations quite profitable. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) reported that returns for photovoltaic investments could be as high as 44% to 51%.

Softbank and Hokkaido Electric are expected to announce a construction schedule and the final capacity of the facility when FIT rates are finalized.

What to learn from this?

As at end-March 2012, Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tepco, has shut down its last operating nuclear reactor. PV Magazine reported that Tepco shut down the number six reactor at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, the world's biggest nuclear power plant. Since the Fukushima disaster, Japan's 54 reactors have been still, due to public safety concerns. Tepco owns 17 reactors and provides approximately 45 million people with electricity. 

Japan is moving towards cleaner sources of energy while trying to minimise its dependance on nuclear power, if not totally eliminating it. Japan may be rich and our resources will never be able to match theirs. 

But if we plan and focus on our goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% comes 2020, we may be rewarded with more percentage of RE in our national power generation mix.

1 comment:

tehr said...

Nampak sangat luas tu kawasan
Bila lagi kita nak dapat macam ni