The location of Ukujima (source: Kyocera)

Kyudenko Corp, Kyocera Corp and Mizuho Bank Ltd announced Jan 24, 2017, that a solar-sharing project (agricultural solar power generation project) with a total output of about 480MW in Ukujima (island), Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, has entered a new phase.

Practically, they reached an agreement for commercialization. Originally, Photovolt Development Partners GmbH had been pushing forward with the project in Ukujima since April 2013. The large-scale solar sharing project is beneficial for Ukujima because it can vitalize the economy of the isolated island and trigger the island to recover.

Agricultural solar power plant is a method to set up poles on part of farmland and install solar panels with some intervals so that sunlight can be shared by agricultural products and solar power generation equipment. It realizes both agriculture and solar power generation. In the project in Ukujima, the land category of the areas where poles are installed is temporarily converted. And the land category conversion will be renewed every three years while the status of the agriculture is evaluated.

In June 2014, Photovolt, Kyudenko, Kyocera, Mizuho Bank and Orix Corp reached a basic agreement to cooperate in the solar-sharing project (See related article 1, 2)

After that, Photovolt and Orix withdrew from the project. However, this time, it was announced that Thailand-based SPCG Public Co Ltd (SPCG), Tokyo Century Corp, Furukawa Electric Co Ltd and Tsuboi Corp have joined the project. Also, as a financial institution that coordinates a project financing loan, The Eighteenth Bank Ltd (Nagasaki City) participated in the project, in addition to Mizuho Bank.

The companies plan to commercialize the project with this new framework, aiming to start construction in fiscal 2018.