First Solar to invest $100 million in Japan PV development


American solar company First Solar revealed last week the details of a $100 million investment in Japan’s PV market. The company will partner with a number of local companies in order to develop, build and operate solar power plants throughout the country in an effort to further advance Japan’s post-Fukushima solar energy landscape.

The Japanese government has set a solar power target of 28 GW by 2020, and this latest round of investment by First Solar will help propel the country closer to its goal.

"Japan is adopting a progressive approach by incorporating clean, safe, renewable sources of power in its plans to address the gap created by idle nuclear power," said First Solar CEO James Hughes. "First Solar has proven solutions to support Japan’s vision of energy security and economic growth, and we will continue to invest here as part of our strategy to develop sustainable solar markets."

That strategy includes a collaboration with JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corporation, who will distribute First Solar’s high efficiency solar PV modules throughout Japan until April 2015.

The modules will be produced using manufacturing techniques obtained through First Solar’s acquisition of TetraSun – an innovative process that combines the high performance qualities of high-end monocrystalline technologies with the consistent performance of conventional crystalline technology.

"We are very pleased to partner with the leading energy company JX Nippon in Japan," added Hughes. "JX’s far-reaching distribution and our technology expertise will combine to deliver high quality solar power solutions to Japan. This agreement reinforces First Solar’s commitment to deliver safe, clean and sustainable solutions to meet Japan’s unique energy needs and energy security goals."