Construction to Begin on Japan's Largest Solar Plant

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 24, 2012

Marubeni Corp. (TYO: 8002) of Japan is building Japan’s largest solar plant to date. The facility, which will be located in the Oita Prefecture, will have a capacity of 81.5 MW generated from 350,000 panels.

Marubeni has estimated the cost at $303 million for the plant, which will cover around 105 hectares (259.5 acres). It will provide power to around 30,000 households and is estimated to be completed in 18 months.

Construction on the Oita project will begin next month, and Marubeni will sell the power generated at the Oita plant to Kyushu Electric Power Company (TYO: 9508).

Marubeni’s energy portfolio boasts 5 percent in renewables, but the company intends to grow that to 10 percent over the next few years. Japan’s highly aggressive feed-in tariffs has promoted an explosion of renewables development, coming hard on the heels of the Fukushima incident.

A second major solar project is already in progress at Kagoshima; that project will have a capacity of 70 MW.

Marubeni is a trading company with investments in wind plants in the U.K. and geothermal plants in Indonesia. The company’s shares dropped 1.14 percent to 520 yen as of 12:32PM, Tokyo time on Sunday. So far in 2012, Marubeni has gained 11 percent.

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