Giga Solar Material Corp., a subsidiary of Taiwan-based solar PV manufacturer Gigastorage Corporation, has built a 17MW solar PV power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Giga Solar contributed almost 30% of the NT$1.5 billion (approximately JPY 5 billion) investment in the solar project, and expects to earn up to NT$200 million per year.
The Fukushima solar power plant is Japan’s largest ground-mounted PV project invested by Taiwanese company. The construction was completed in April, and the plant connected to the grid for commercial operation on May 19. With a 20-year PPA secured, electricity generated by the Fukushima solar power plant will be sold under a specialized feed-in tariff price of 43.2 yen/kWh. The higher-than-average FiT price in Fukushima makes the plant extremely profitable – on May 22nd, when it was sunny, the solar power generated by the plant has already earned Giga Solar more than NT$1 million*. Giga Solar projects approximately NT$125 million of revenue in 2015, and about NT$200 million of revenue per year starting from 2016.
According to Giga Solar, over 70% of the total investment is financed by syndicated loan. The syndicated lenders will support the long-term project financing. The 17MW project is expected around 20 million kWh of clean power annually, enough for 5,000 average homes.
Giga Solar has invested in and built a 2.5MW solar power plant in Chiba Prefecture, while the Fukushima plant is more profitable than the China plant. On one hand, the FiT schemes for large-scale PV power plants will be reduced to 27 yen/kWh since this July, yet the Fukushima plant will receive 40 yen/kWh FiT for 20 years. The IRR, therefore, could reach up to 50%. On the other hand, the air in Fukushima is generally clear, which is helpful to reduce maintenance costs. The local temperature is perfect for solar panels to generating solar power as well. As a result, the power output of the Fukushima plant is expected to be “satisfied.”
On May 19th, the electricity income was approximately NT$ 330,000 because it was shady and rainy. On May 20, the sunny day brought an approximately NT$780,000 income; on May 21st, it reached NT$830,000. The record on May 22nd was as high as NT$1 million.
“May it rain only at night and always be sunny at day in Fukushima,” so wishes the Giga Solar managing team.
* Exchange rate on May 22nd: JPY 1 = NT$ 0.254
(Photo Credit: ふくしまからはじめよう。[Starging From Fukushima] Facebook page)