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JPEA Publishes 'Evaluation Guide' for Solar Power Plants

In consideration of secondary market

2018/07/12 16:03
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The new guide can be used by a wide variety of businesses including not only power producers and EPC and O&M service providers but also companies in the fields of finance, insurance, asset management, etc. (source: JPEA)
An overview of the evaluation related to land (source: JPEA)
An overview of the evaluation related to structure (source: JPEA)
An example of the use of the guide by a person considering purchasing a solar power plant (source: JPEA)

Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association (JPEA) published the "Evaluation Guide for Solar Power Generation Projects" June 29, 2018.

JPEA formulated the guide as indexes for evaluating the risk related to the continuity of power generation business, which is necessary for (1) soundly spreading the use of solar power as a long-term, stable power source so that solar power generation can be a main power source and (2) activating the secondary trade (sale and purchase) of solar power plants in stable operation, which is expected to increase in the future.

The guide was formulated by the "Committee for Formulating the Evaluation Guide for Solar Power Generation Projects" (office: JPEA), which consists of people from various fields including not only solar power generation but also finance, insurance and science.

Since the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy for renewable energy-based power generation started, there have been some power generation businesses being run without enough expertise, especially in the case of solar power plants. Some sites are not appropriately operated in terms of safety and maintenance of power generation capacity, and they are considered as problems.

Especially, there are about 470,000 solar power plants (total output: about 12GW) that transmit 10kW or more of electricity to a power grid and are connected to a low-voltage (less-than-50kW) power transmission line. In many cases, they are personally owned.

Some point out that, due to inappropriate design, construction, etc, there are risks related not only to appropriate operation during the FIT-based purchasing period but also to continuous operation after the end of the period and reinvestment necessary for the continuous operation.

Therefore, JPEA considered that it is necessary to make a guide for evaluating an entire power generation project including civil engineering, structure, land and title, in addition to PV facility-related technical guidelines that JPEA has already announced.