GSSG Solar, LLC announced the financial close and ground-breaking of its initial mega-solar project in Japan. The 47 MW solar project will be built in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan and will sell power to Chubu Electric Power Company through a 20-year feed in tariff (FIT) structured under Japan's "Act on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Renewable Electric Energy by Operators of Electric Utilities" which came into effect in July 2012. The project is the first in a 170 MW portfolio of solar projects invested in by GSSG Solar Partners, LP to start construction, and is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
In collaboration with a number of local stakeholders including the developer, the project received financing commitment from Shinsei Bank, Ltd for both construction and the term of the project. GSSG Solar Partners, LP is the equity sponsor of the transaction.
GSSG Solar, LLC has assessed over 2.5GW of potential projects under the FIT regime of Japan, and the Suwa project demonstrates the core attributes that are essential in the evaluation of solar project investments worldwide.
"The [Suwa] project fundamentals, including high solar irradiance, minimally disturbed and contiguous land area, strong local support, and an experienced solar developer make this project an exemplar of the investments we are making here in Japan," said Charlie McDaniel, Director of GSSG Solar. The project was developed by Sun Holdings, Ltd and is being built on an abandoned 18-hole golf course, leased from the original landowners.
The project will utilize high efficiency monocrystalline modules from California-based SunPower along with local engineering and construction services from established Japanese partners. The solar production from the site is expected to offset the electricity needs and the associated emissions of approximately 9,600 local residents.
"As a firm dedicated to investing in solar projects globally, we recognize that success is built upon each individual project we pursue and local partnerships we enter," said Tomakin Archambault, CEO of GSSG Solar, "We are appreciative of the contributions of each of our international partners, the national leadership of the Japanese government, and the local support from the community of Suwa in making clean, renewable energy a reality. We look forward to replicating this success not only on our other projects in Japan, but globally in the markets that we target."
The ground-breaking reception was held on April 21, 2016 and was attended by over 150 community members and all major project stakeholders. The traditional ceremony was presided over by a Shinto priest.