Tokyo Gas invests further in solar and creates JV for storage

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Japanese natural gas company Tokyo Gas has strengthened its commitment to renewable energy through two deals.

The first transaction, made by the group’s main power unit, was related to the acquisition of a 4.8 MW solar plant in Kyoto prefecture that began commercial operation in August 2015. The project, at an industrial area in Ayabe, was sold by building materials and housing equipment manufacturer Lixil Corp for an undisclosed sum. The plant is selling power to Kansai Electric Power Co Inc under Japan’s FIT scheme at a rate of ¥36/kWh ($0.33).

Before that acquisition, Tokyo Gas had bought 9 MW of solar capacity across six sites in Kumagaya, in Saitama prefecture, plus a further 9.7 MW from six plants in Nankan, Kumamoto prefecture, in partnership with Tokyo Century and Kyudenko. With the latter, Tokyo Gas launched a solar development venture in February 2017.

In a second deal which was also announced late last week, Tokyo Gas agreed to create a joint venture with Exergy Power Systems Inc, a spin-off from the University of Tokyo that develops storage systems based on its hydrogen cell technology.

Through the transaction, the utility said it intended to improve its power supply and demand adjustment market business.

Both deals are part of the group’s GPSG 2020 management plan which envisages, among other things, the acquisition of renewable energy power assets with a combined capacity of 1 GW – 400 MW of it in Japan and the rest overseas.