Canadian Solar starts construction on 12.9 MW in Japan

Work on two new solar PV plants, the 10.77 MWp Shizuoka Project and the 2.1 MWp Miyagi Project, have broken ground in Japan, said Canadian Solar, whose high-efficiency MaxPower modules will be mounted at both sites.

Commercial operation at the Shizuoka power plant is slated for Q4 2018. It is expected to generate approximately 12,971 MWh of clean energy each year, which will be purchased by Tokyo Electric Power, under a 20-year feed-in-tariff contract at a rate of ¥36.0 ($0.32) per kWh. 

The Miyagi plant is, meanwhile, expected to generate around 2,400 MWh of solar electricity annually, which will be purchased by Tohoku Electric Power under a 20-year feed-in-tariff contract inked at the same rate. Canadian Solar expects the project to reach commercial operation in Q3 2018.

“With the addition of these two projects, the portfolio of Canadian Solar’s under-construction or operating assets is well-diversified across 18 prefectures throughout Japan,“ said Shawn Qu, chairman and CEOof Canadian Solar. “The Miyagi project, marks our first project under-construction in a region severely impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Canadian Solar is honored to contribute to the on-going revitalization effort, and look forward to being a part of the continued developments within the region.”

The two projects represent opportunities for the future growth of the Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund, which was recently listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Its goal is to serve as a long-term investment vehicle, primarily for solar energy project assets.

This year, Canadian Solar has seen much project development activity in Japan, after it grid connected 52.5 MW across four sites throughout the country in the first half of this year, and another 27.3 MW project in the Tottori Prefecture in August. 

To finance its Japanese projects, Canadian Solar secured a US$36 million credit facility with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing in March this year. A few days later, in April, it finalized a $47 million inaugural dual-tenor green project bond with Goldman Sachs Japan for a 19 MW solar project in Gunma Prefecture. Earlier this month, meanwhile, the vertically integrated Tier-1 Chinese solar firm completed its second green project bond placement with Goldman Sachs Japan, securing ¥7.4 billion ($66.0 million) in project financing for its 27.3 MWp solar power plant in Tottori Prefecture, Japan.