One of China's leading electric power company develops solar power plants in Japan

Following the implementation of the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, solar power plants have been increasingly constructed in the last few years in Sanda City, Hyogo Prefecture, partly because it has relatively gentle hills and idle business properties.

The "SJ Solar Sanda Power Plant" with an output of about 5MW is one of the plants. Shanghai Electric Power Japan Co Ltd (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), a Japanese unit of Chinese national power company Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd, constructed and started operation of this plant in July 2014. "SJ" is an abbreviation for Shanghai Electric Power Japan (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: The SJ Solar Sanda Power Plant (source: Shanghai Electric Power Japan)

Purchasing a 10.3ha idle site owned by a company, SJ set up 18,700 single crystal silicon panels (270W/unit) manufactured by Shanghai Aerospace Automobile Electromechanical Co Ltd (SAAE). Shinwa Industry Co Ltd (Osaka City) provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, while Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) and Nisso Pronity Co Ltd supplied PV inverters and foundations/mounting systems, respectively.

Shanghai Electric Power has a history of over 130 years since its foundation in 1882. It is also an affiliate of national State Power Investment Corp (SPIC), which is one of China's five largest electric power groups. Its Japanese unit SJ was established in September 2013 and approaches renewable energy-based power generation business using the FIT scheme.

The SJ Solar Sanda Power Plant is the second mega- (large-scale) solar power plant that SJ started operation in Japan and is also the first power generation project that SJ launched alone in Japan. In addition to this one, SJ is operating two joint projects in Japan: the "Osaka City Nanko Sakishima Mega-solar Power Plant" (Osaka City) with an output of about 2.4MW and the "SJ Solar Tsukuba Power Plant" (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) with an output of 35MW.