SGET Begins Construction of 36MW Solar Plant in Tsunami-hit Area

Toshiba's solar panel, TMEIC's PV inverter

2018/10/11 15:37
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
The ceremony to pray for safe construction of "SGET Minamisoma Mega Solar" and "Minamisoma Murakami Fukuoka Solar Power plant" (source: SGET)

Sparx Green Energy & Technology Co Ltd (SGET) had a ground-breaking ceremony for a solar power plant with an output of about 36MW in Haramachi District, Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Sept 19, 2018.

SGET (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is affiliated with Sparx Group Co Ltd, which runs an investment management business, etc.

The power producer of the plant, "SGET Haramachi-minami Mega Solar Plant" is SGET, and an area that was damaged by a tsunami at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and obtained by Minamisoma City was used. A joint venture (JV) between Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp and Nippon Steel & Sumikin Texeng Co Ltd provided EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services. The plant started to be constructed Oct 1, 2018, and is scheduled to be completed at the end of March 2020.

The plant will transmit 29MW of electricity to a power grid. The solar panel and PV inverter employed for the plant are products of Toshiba Corp and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), respectively. The total output of solar panels will be 36.25MW. The plant is expected to generate 43,603,494kWh of electricity per year. The FIT tariff set for the plant is ¥24/kWh.

SGET has already started the construction of "SGET Minamisoma Mega Solar" in Idagawa, Odaka District, Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, in April 2018. This will also be built on farmland damaged by a tsunami. The plant is scheduled to start operation in March 2020.

The plant will transmit 27MW of electricity to a power grid. The total capacity of solar panels will be about 36.8MW. The plant is expected to generate 43,708,953kWh of electricity in the first year. The FIT tariff set for the plant is ¥24/kWh.

For the plant, Toshiba Plant Systems & Services Corp and Shinshowa Corp (Kimitsu City, Chiba Prefecture) provide engineering and construction services. The solar panel and PV inverter employed for the plant are products of Toshiba and TMEIC.

In Odaka-ku, Minamisoma City, in addition to SGET Minamisoma Mega Solar, "Minamisoma Murakami Fukuoka Solar Power plant" (grid capacity: 27MW) has already started to be constructed. And the power producer of the plant is a joint venture funded by Shinshowa, etc. The total capacity of the three plants in the southern part of Haramachi District and Odaka District will reach about 100MW.

In Minamisoma City, Sumitomo Corp started operation of "Minamisoma Mano Migita Ebi Solar Power Plant" with a total solar panel capacity of about 60MW in Mano, Migita and Ebi districts. The company is also building "Minamisoma Haramachi-higashi Solar Power Plant" with a total solar panel capacity of 32.2MW in Haramachi-higashi District. The plant is scheduled to start commercial operation in December 2018 (See related article).

Along the coast of Minamisoma City, private business operators are building mega solar plants after the land category of farmland damaged by a tsunami is changed mainly by the city. Minamisoma Mano Migita Ebi Solar Power Plant and Minamisoma Haramachi-higashi Solar Power Plant, which started to be built prior to other plants, are located in former "emergency evacuation preparation zones" located 20-30km away from Fukushima Daiishi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc, where the nuclear accident occurred.

SGET Minamisoma Mega Solar and Minamisoma Murakami Fukuoka Solar Power plant, which started to be constructed in the spring of 2018, and SGET Haramachi-minami Mega Solar Plant, which had a ground-breaking ceremony in September 2018, are located in "zones in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order" located less than 20km away from the nuclear power plant.

Residents evacuated from those zones after the earthquake. As the decontamination by the Japanese government proceeded, the evaluation order was lifted in July 2016, and residents began to return.