Aquila Capital sells 38.4 MW in Japan

Germany’s Aquila Capital will sell electricity from the 38.4 MW solar plant at a feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of ¥40 ($0.36)/kWh to an unspecified Japanese institutional investor.

In December, it said that the 38.4 MW project in Tomakomai, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, would include a battery storage system. It is set to manage the installation once it is operational, with grid connection scheduled for 2018, according to an earlier statement. Green Power Development Corporation of Japan developed the project, which features JinkoSolar modules and Fuji Electric power inverters.

Aquila Capital — which entered the Japanese solar market in 2012 —strategically buys early-stage PV projects, develops them and then sells them to institutional investors.

“Market-ready projects are particularly interesting for local institutional investors, so developing projects that already have secured feed-in tariffs is an attractive strategy,” said Boris Beltermann, head of the firm’s solar business in Japan, in an online statement.

“The development risk in Japan becomes comparatively low as soon as the land has been secured.”

The privately owned hedge fund sponsor plans to invest in a total of 150 MW of early-stage PV capacity in Japan, with the aim of eventually selling the projects upon completion.

Globally, Aquila Capital has engaged in €1.3 billion ($1.39 billion) of solar-related transactions, totalling 505 MW, according to its website.

The Hamburg-based fund — which was founded in 2001 — also invests in wind and hydropower projects. In May 2015, it bought a portfolio of six grid-connected solar projects in France’s Aquitaine region, totalling 57 MW of capacity.