Orix on track to meet 900 MW Japanese solar goals

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Adding to its cumulative solar capacity of 350 MW, Orix will install 550 MW of projects in Japan by the end of March 2018, reports Bloomberg. 500 MW have already been secured, said spokesman, Katsunori Fujii.

Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review additionally reported that Orix will invest more than JPY 100 billion (around US$874 million) in the pipeline.

In October 2014, the Tokyo-based company said it aimed to install 800 MW of large-scale solar projects by 2018. Today’s news indicates it is on track to meeting those goals.

Japan was the second biggest solar market globally in 2015, behind China, having added 10 GW of new solar capacity in 2015. However, under new rules announced yesterday, solar auctions will replace the country’s lucrative FIT next April, making it likely that activity will significantly cool off. Some predict a market cap of just 2 GW annually.

The aim of the auctions, said Motoo Hayashi at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is to ensure the continued expansion of clean energy in the country, while reducing the burden on power users.

Other upcoming changes will see Japan liberalize its energy market on April 1. In addition to opening up the sector and loosening the dominance of 10 regional utilities, tax breaks for commercial solar installations will also come to an end.