Kyocera puts online 14.5 MW PV plant in Japan

Yesterday Kyocera Corporation, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo Century Corporation and Yonden Engineering celebrated the commissioning of a 14.5 MW solar project in south-central Japan. Yonden connected the plant to the grid on November 2.

The PV plant is nestled in the mountains near Taka Town, in the central part of Hyogo Prefecture. The four companies began planning for the site in 2013, and established a consortium in 2014 to build and operate the project.

Tokyo Century arranged financing for the project, and Yonden Engineering was responsible for design and construction. The project is comprised of 56,000 Kyocera modules, and the company will additionally conduct maintenance on the plant. Mitsubishi Research institute is credited with leading the project consortium, and will also manage the asset.

In addition to its work on this project, in January Mitsubishi Research announced that it would join forces with Mitsubishi UFG Morgan Stanley Securities on a fund to buy up and improve low-performing PV projects.

There appear to be no such issues with the Hyogo Project. Kyocera expects the plant to produce 16,060 megawatt-hours annually, which would give it a capacity factor of 12.6%. This is good for rainy Japan, and may reflect a relatively sunny site and/or technical achievements by Kyocera.

The plant’s coming online follows a relatively strong Q2 of Japan’s fiscal year 2016 for solar. According to Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association the capacity of utility-scale solar installations increased 10% year over-year, even as the overall market dipped 6%, as part of a long-term slowdown.