Local Gov't Offers Land to Europe-based Firm for 25MW Solar Plant

2014/01/24 15:17
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

The government of Shizukuishi Town, Iwate Prefecture, had a ceremony to sign a land lease contract with Shizukuishi Solar Power Generation (LLC: limited liability company) Jan 22, 2014.

The ceremony took place in the audio-visual room of the central community center of Shizukuishi Town, attended by Mayor Masamitsu Fukaya and the LLC President Marco Antonio Northland. Shizukuishi Solar Power Generation is an SPC (special purpose company) funded by Etrion Corp (Geneva, Switzerland), which is a Europe-based independent power producer, and Hitachi High-Technologies Corp. After the ceremony, the SPC explained its mega-solar (large-scale solar) project that it is planning.

For the mega-solar project, Shizukuishi Solar Power Generation will use about 51ha of privately-owned land in Numagaeshi, Shizukuishi Town, adjoining Koiwai Farm. Shizukuishi Solar Power Generation, an SPC that is 85% owned by Etrion, which has experience in power generation business in Europe, and 15% by Hitachi High-Technologies, which is affiliated with the Hitachi group, will run the power generation business. The project will cost about ¥7.67 billion (approx US$74.1 million) until power generation begins.

The SPC is based in Shizukuishi Town in the aim of energizing the local communities by using local companies and employing local residents for construction until power generation begins, creating jobs after the start of power generation and providing environmental education opportunities (such as inviting children living in the town to the power generation facilities).

Also, the company will install the foundations of mounting systems by using steel stakes, which will be removed after the project finishes, to be environmentally conscious.

The total output capacity of the facilities will be about 25MW, which is equivalent to 7,000 households. As of the end of December 2013, there were about 6,200 households in Shizukuishi Town. So, the capacity is more than the amount of power consumed by all of the households in the town.

In the town, Kubokuradensetsu Co Ltd (Yokohama City) runs a mega-solar plant with an output power of about 1MW by leasing about 1.2ha of privately-owned land in Nanatsumori, Shizukuishi Town. And the latest facilities will be the second mega-solar plant in the town.

Etrion is an independent power producer that owns and invests in renewable energy-related properties. It owns and runs 60MW of solar power plants on 17 sites in Italy. Etrion is based in Geneva and has branches in Rome, Santiago (Chile), Tokyo, etc.