The JPY 4.4 billion ($39.5 million) project started generating electricity on July 15, according to a statement to the JASDAQ Securities Exchange. It will cater to the annual needs of between 4,000 and 5,000 homes. Toshiba Infrastructure Systems and Solutions served as EPC contractor and has been selected to handle O&M duties. Sparx did not reveal which companies supplied the solar panels.
The PV array extends from Chiba New Town Chuo Station to Inba-Nihon-Idai Station. Construction began in April 2016. Sparx says that foreign visitors to Japan will be able to see the solar panels if they take the Keisei Skyliner train into Tokyo from Narita International Airport.
The thin strip of land the project occupies was originally set aside for bullet train tracks. Construction on the train line started in 1974 but the plan was later abandoned. The land — which is owned by the Chiba prefectural authorities — had remained unoccupied ever since.
In February, Sparx revealed that its investments in Japanese renewables had reached $1.2 billion by the end of January 2017. Solar accounted for about 92% of its 307 MW clean-energy portfolio at the start of the year. Its installed renewables capacity in Japan hit roughly 84 MW by the end of last year, with most of its solar projects located throughout the greater Tokyo area.