Renova plots 300 MW solar portfolio in Japan

Renewable energy developer Renova has outlined plans to boost its solar PV footprint from 190 MW to more than 300 MW, while also augmenting its pipeline in wind and solar thermal technologies.

The Tokyo-based clean power firm began as a waste recycling specialist in 2000, and says its immediate focus is to bring online its megasolar pipeline as soon as possible. Renova has plans to develop a 70 MW solar PV plant in Karumai, in the northern prefecture of Iwate where it has already built a 48 MW solar plant.

To finance these solar goals, Renova told Bloomberg that it is eyeing “anonymous partnership agreements” to ensure greater liquidity and ease of completion – according to Renova senior manager Yukiyoski Tomita, this approach means dividends from completed solar projects can be distributed to shareholders more easily.

In Karumai, Renova has worked alongside Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance CO, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co. Tomita stressed that the increased scarcity of land in Japan was making the process of locating and financing megasolar PV projects more difficult.

"Many available sites are being left because of the costs associated with preparing the land," he told Bloomberg. "That sets a high hurdle." To counter these difficulties, Renova has begun exploring wind and solar thermal possibilities, and will also build a 20 MW biomass power station in Akita in northern Japan later this year.