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Sumitomo Starts Up 60MW Solar Plant in Fukushima

Use of 100ha of coastal area damaged by tsunami

2018/04/19 17:45
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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About 100ha of land damaged by a tsunami was used for the project. (source: Sumitomo)
A ceremony to celebrate the completion of the plant (source: Nikkei BP)
The solar panel and PV inverter employed for the plant are products of Toshiba and TMEIC, respectively. (source: Nikkei BP)

Sumitomo Corp had a ceremony to celebrate the completion of a solar power plant with an output of about 60MW in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, April 13, 2018.

The output of the mega (large-scale) solar power plant, "Minamisoma Mano Migita Ebi Solar Power Plant," is higher than that of "Renatosu Soma Solar Park," which is a mega solar plant with an output of 52.5MW and started operation in 2017 in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture. And the new plant is the largest-scale solar power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

The plant was built on about 100ha of land including agricultural lands and residential areas that are near the coast and were damaged by a tsunami at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Based on the "Project to Promote Massive Emigration for Disaster Prevention" and "Land Improvement Project Law," the plant was built in Mano, Migita and Ebi districts, for which Minamisoma City obtained a using revenue right.

The total capacity of solar panels installed at the plant is 59.9MW, and the plant transmits 45.5MW of electricity to a power grid. The total project cost is ¥22 billion (approx US$205 million). The plant is expected to generate 64GW of electricity, which is equivalent to the amount consumed by 20,000 households, per year. The FIT tariff set for the plant is ¥40/kWh.

The power producer of the plant is Solar Power Minamisoma Kashima, an SPC (special purpose company) financed 80% by Sumitomo and 20% by Sumitomo Corporation Tohoku Co Ltd. A project finance loan was structured by Mizuho Bank Ltd as an arranger and given to the SPC. The construction of the plant started May 6, 2016, and it started commercial operation March 20, 2018.