Earlier this April, Canadian Solar and Juwi Shizen Energy announced the commencement of the construction of the Azuma Kofuji 1 Solar Power Plant in Fukushima, Japan. Canadian Solar is the developer of this project, and Juwi Shizen Energy is the contracted EPC firm. The power plant, which has a generation capacity of around 100MWp, is scheduled to enter operation in the first quarter of 2023.
Juwi Shizen Energy (styled “juwi”) is a joint venture of German EPC firm Juwi and Japanese renewable energy developer Shizen Energy. It had completed around 300MW of PV projects as of the end of November 2020. For Canadian Solar as a vertically integrated solar enterprise, the Azuma Kofuji 1 is one its flagship projects. The company also stated that the project will deploy its bifacial PERC modules. Currently, Canadian Solar has four projects under development in Japan (including the Azuma Kofuji 1). Their total generation capacity reaches 143MWp.
Covering an area of 183ha, the Azuma Kofuji 1 is expected to produce 10 million kWh of electricity annually. This amount is enough to meet the demand of around 31,000 households year-round. The main buyer of the electricity from the power plant is Tohoku Electric Power Company, and the price has been set at 36 yen per kWh. The financing of the project was arranged by Nomura Capital Investments.
Juwi Shizen held a public meeting with the residents in Fukushima on August 26, 2020. The event was to reassure the locals that the construction of the project will be done in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
Solar PV will drive both the transition to renewable energy and the economic recovery of the region
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster that was caused by the Tohoku earthquake in 2011 brought about significant changes in Japan’s energy strategy. The government of Fukushima Prefecture has established a target of having all of the region’s electricity supply sourced from renewable energies by 2040. The Azuma Kofuji 1, which is located near the site of the nuclear disaster, is one of several new PV projects that are being developed in Japan.
According to the summary of the EIA report on the Azuma Kofuji 1, the project will make use of the abandoned and non-productive farmland. The project is also expected to contribute to the recovery of the region by powering the production activities of local farms, fisheries, and forestry businesses.