Etrion connects first phase of Japan's 9.3 MW Mito Solar project


Swiss solar company Etrion has connected the first site of the 9.3 MW Mito Solar project in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture.

The first Mito site is a 2.7 MW utility-scale installation, and the first of five that will make up the Mito Project, which will cover 28.3 hectares of land and produce around 10.5 million kWh of solar electricity per year.

Etrion owns 87% of the Mito project, with the remaining 13% in the hands of Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, which is a subsidiary of electronics giant Hitachi.

The Mito Project is using polycrystalline PV modules produced by Canadian Solar, and will be installed on fixed tilt technology and operated with Hitachi inverters.

Power generated by the 9.3 MW solar park will be sold to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), under with the project will receive 40 yen/kWh ($0.32 cents/kWh) of electricity produced under Japan’s feed-in tariff (FIT).

Etrion will oversee all operations and maintenance requirements for the plant over the course of its lifetime.

"We completed the first site of the 9.3 MW Mito solar project on schedule and on budget thanks to the hard work of our superb local team, our partner Hitachi High-Tech, and the local utility, TEPCO," said Etrion’s CEO Marco A. Northland.

"We are on track to have all five sites of the Mito Project connected by the end of August. In parallel, we look forward to advancing our Japanese development pipeline in the months ahead."

Etrion is also working with Hitachi High-Tech on the 24.7 MW Shizukuishi power plant, which is expected to be connected to the Japanese grid by July 2016. Once finalized, Etrion will have added 34 MW of solar PV capacity to Japan in the space of 18 months.

Funding for the Japanese projects comes via a $82 million long-term, non-recourse loan from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.