Gestamp Solar to build its first utility scale PV project in Japan

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Gestamp Solar has this week announced that it is to build its first utility scale solar PV project in Japan, taking advantage of the favorable solar conditions created by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Based in Madrid, Spain, Gestamp Solar has developed a number of large scale solar projects around the world, but this proposed 31.6 MW PV plant will be the company’s first venture into Japan.

Gestamp Solar secured financing for the project, which will be located on a former golf course in the town of Daigo in Ibaraki Prefecture, via an agreement with Deutsche Bank AG in June to provide a non-recourse construction loan facility of $110 million. Gestamp Solar confirmed that it hopes to enter into future similar financing arrangements in Japan, provided this inaugural project goes ahead unimpeded.

"This is an important milestone for Gestamp Solar, as the project is one of the largest utility scale solar power plants to be developed by a foreign company in Japan," said Gestamp Solar CEO Jorge Barredo. "It is also the largest single solar project to secure non-recourse financing in Japan."

Once complete in April 2015, the 31.6 MW solar power plant will cover a total of 40 hectares and generate enough solar electricity to power 10,000 local households annually. Local utility, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the energy produced.

"The support of Daigo Town, Ibaraki Prefecture, METI, TEPCO and all the other institutions involved in the project’s development has been key to this success," added Barredo.