Kuni Umi Asset Management, GE Energy Financial Services and Toyo Engineering Corporation have invested in a 231 MW facility in Okayama, Japan via special purpose company and representative member Setouchi Future Creations.
GE Energy Financial Services holds a 60% stake in the project, one of the largest single equity investments in renewable energy in Japan. The total investment is approximately 110 billion yen, and the three owners get a 90 billion yen (approximately US$ 867 million) loan from Japanese banks include Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
Toyo Engineering and Shimizu Corporation will build the solar PV plant beginning in November. The project is expected to reach commercial operations in the second quarter of 2019 and sell its power to Chugoku Electric Power Company under a 20-year power purchase agreement that uses Japan’s renewable energy feed-in-tariff regime. Chudenko Corporation will provide operations and maintenance services.
Sushil Verma, a managing director and Japan business leader at GE Energy Financial Services, said: “Japan’s favorable regulatory policies make solar power attractive and diversify the country’s power generation sources. For us, the Kuni Umi project expands our international and renewable energy footprints, which already include investment commitments of $1.8 billion in equity and debt in more than one gigawatt of solar power projects worldwide.”
In addition to capital, GE will supply some of the inverters -- marking the debut in Japan of the GE 1 MW Brilliance Solar Inverter, which eliminates the need for an intermediate transformer, resulting in higher conversion efficiency and superior grid performance.