Japan: Company formed to develop 500 MW

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A revamped FIT regime came into effect in Japan on July 1, which has the potential to deliver substantial returns in a country where economic growth has been slow, if present at all, over the past decade. Responding to this opportunity, major corporations are moving to develop photovoltaic projects, such as West Holdings Corp., one of the primary investors in the Japan Mega Solar Power Co.

Bloomberg reported today that West Holdings, a Japanese construction company that remodels and rebuilds houses, formed the Japan Mega Solar company in June.

The new company plans to build 250 utility-scale photovoltaic plants, with a combined capacity of 500 MW, and has attracted 12 investors including Chinese photovoltaic cell manufacturer JA Solar Holdings. The projects are to be developed over 5 years.

West Holding is not the only major Japanese company moving into large-scale photovoltaic development, Noriaki Yamashita, a Senior Researcher Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) told pv magazine. He reported that in July more than 40 big companies announced plans to do so, representing "a very big tide for the renewable energy industry."