Visit to Plant

Project Finance Structured for 8.8MW Solar Plant Despite Output Restriction

SymEnergy raises 1.9 billion yen from Shinsei Bank

2018/08/04 09:35
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Mount Iwate rises above solar panels

Takizawa City is located at the foot of Mt Iwate, a beautiful mountain about 2,038m above sea level in central Iwate Prefecture. The "Takizawa City Solar Power Plant" is situated on a hill about 10 minutes by car west from the Takizawa Interchange of the Tohoku Expressway. A total of 28,000 solar panels were set up on a roughly 160,000m2 site, where a farm had originally stood.

The panels were tilted by 30° and arrayed on a narrow and long project site stretching in a north-south direction. Its solar panel capacity is 8.82MW, while the rated capacity of PV inverters is 7.5MW. This mega- (large-scale) solar power plant is connected with an extra-high-voltage grid.

From this site, Mt Iwate, Mt Himekami and Mt Hayachine can be viewed to the northwest, east and southeast, respectively (Fig. 1 & 2).

Fig. 1: Mt Iwate seen to the northwest of the site (source: Nikkei BP)

Fig. 2: Mt Himekami seen to the east from the hill in the site (source: Nikkei BP)

SymEnergy Inc (former Koyo Electric Corp, Higashinada-ku, Kobe City), which is engaged in energy-related business such as renewable energy and power retail, developed, operates and maintains this power plant.

The plant's project cost totaled about 3.2 billion yen (approx US$28.8 million). General incorporated association Green Finance Suishin Kiko (Minato-ku, Tokyo), JFE Plant Engineering Co Ltd (Taito-ku, Tokyo) and SymEnergy invested and structured the project finance, obtaining a loan from Shinsei Bank Ltd.

JFE Plant Engineering provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, adopting high-capacity-type solar panels (315W/unit) of LG Electronics Inc, 750kW-output PV inverters of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) and a grid substation of GE Grid Solutions (Fig. 3 & 4).

Fig. 3: High-capacity-type (315W/unit) solar panels of LG Electronics adopted (source: Nikkei BP)

Fig. 4: TMEIC PV inverters with an output of 750kW each adopted (source: Nikkei BP)

Aluminum mounting systems manufactured by SRG Takamiya Co Ltd were used while lightweight steel beams (H-shaped steel) were driven into the ground as foundations. SymEnergy used stigma brackets that could accommodate the gentle west-east slopes and north-south slopes that remained after the company had reclaimed the site while limiting side slopes as much as possible (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: SRG Takamiya's aluminum mounting systems used to accommodate slopes in an west-east direction (source: Nikkei BP)

The plant's annual power generation is expected to amount to about 9,500,000kWh, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of about 2,900 general households. Operation began in December 2017, and generated power is sold to Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc.