Set on a former salt field in Setouchi City, the 110bn yen ‘Kuni Umi’ solar project is expected to be fully operational by spring 2019, with power being sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement that uses Japan’s renewable energy feed-in-tariff scheme.

The loan for the 110bn yen (£600m) solar project will be provided the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitshi Banking Corporation, as well as regional financial institutions.

Managing director and Japan business leader at GE Energy Financial Services, which holds a 60% stake in the Kuni Umi project, Sushil Verma said: “Japan’s favourable 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.”


Construction of the project, due to commence in November this year, will be undertaken by Toyo Engineering and Shimizu Corporation and overseen by UK management, engineering and development consultancy firm, Mott Macdonald. The plant.

Mott MacDonald’s project director Philip Napier-Moore said: “In Japan, Mott MacDonald is working with international investors on 23 solar plants totalling 720MW of power. We’re seeing a trend of increasing scale, of which this project represents the current culmination.

“If the same output were to be met using coal-fired generation, 5.4MT of CO2 would be emitted. The Kuni-Umi plant will be zero carbon in generation over its 20-year design life.”

The announcement comes less than a month after edie reported that Japanese electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera had begun work on what will be the world’s largest floating solar installation.

Interactive Map: Remarkable solar farms

In light of these major new solar projects, edie has created an interactive map of the world’s most remarkable solar farms. View the interactive map below.

Lois Vallely

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