Photovolt unveils 900 MW Japanese PV pipeline

Photovolt managing director, Peter Gerstmann tells pv magazine that Japan is a major focus for the company, in part due to its generous FITs, unveiled last year, but also because of its developed and stable economy, positive financing conditions and strong demand for renewable energy.

Construction on the company’s biggest project, a 475 MW (DC) polycrystalline facility is expected to begin in Japan in the second half of this year, and operations are scheduled to start in 2014/2015. While the necessary permits are still to be secured, the facility has received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and will receive payments under the old FIT scheme.

Located on the island of Ukushima, the 475 MW will be spread across a number of different sites. While Photovolt is developing the project, owned by Japan’s TeraSol, it will work together with local partners and aims to appoint an EPC contractor soon.

Gerstmann would not disclose how much will be invested in the project, but did say that it is hoped financing will come from a consortium of European and Japanese banks, and will be secured in 2H 2013.

In addition to the 475 MW project, Photovolt is also planning to install:

  • A 24 MWp polycrystalline project in Hokkaido; completion is scheduled for 2014
  • A 28 MWp polycrystalline project in Hiroshima; completion is scheduled for 2014
  • A 72 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Miyagi; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • A 20 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Fukushima; completion is scheduled for 2014
  • An 80 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Chiba; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • An 83 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Shiga; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • A 121 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Cluster Tochigi; completion is scheduled for 2014/2015
  • A 22 MWp polycrystalline or thin film project in Kumamoto; completion is scheduled for 2014

Gerstmann says that development on all projects in currently underway. 75 MW worth of the projects have received payment approval under the old FIT scheme, while the remaining MWs will receive tariffs under the new rates, approved on April 1.

In addition to Japan, Photovolt is also planning to develop110 MWp across two facilities – 100 MWp in Beit She’an and 10 MWp in Ashkelon – in Israel; and 35 MWp in Sonora, Mexico, over the coming year.

The company, located in Berlin, did have plans to develop photovoltaic projects in Cyprus. However, the pipeline has been recently discontinued following the fallout of the country’s bailout on March 25.

Photovolt’s 60 MWp pipeline, some of which had been fully approved, in Italy has also been suspended for the time being, due to the current low electricity prices in the country.

To date, the company has developed 5 MWp across two locations in Germany, 29.9 MWp in Italy, and 20 MWp across 10 locations in Spain.