Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has announced the results of the sixth auction for solar projects with a generation capacity of more than 250 kW.
The ministry said it has selected solar power projects with a combined capacity of 368.8 MW in the procurement exercise, after having initially accepted project proposals with a combined capacity of 526.5 MW for review.
The METI had originally planned to allocate around 750 MW of solar capacity in the auction and had set a ceiling price of ¥12.00 ($0.114)/kWh.
The 255 selected projects have a capacity ranging from 300 kW to 68.6 MW.
Slight decrease in average price
The METI has also revealed that in the procurement exercise the lowest price offered was ¥10.00/kWh ($0.095) and the highest ¥12.0 for an average price of ¥12.57.
In the fifth auction held in January, the lowest price offered was ¥10.99/kWh and the highest ¥13.0, for an average price of ¥12.57. The METI selected solar power projects with a combined capacity of only 39.8 MW in the procurement exercise, after having initially accepted 72 project proposals with a combined capacity of 185.6 MW for review.
In the fourth auction held in the summer of 2019, the lowest price was ¥10.50/kWh ($0.0988), while the highest price was ¥13.99 and the average price was ¥12.98.
In the third auction finalized in January 2019, the METI had selected seven projects with a total capacity of 196.6 MW. Average price was ¥15.01 ($0.137) per kWh, with the lowest bid ¥14.25 and the highest ¥15.45.
The second auction, in September 2018, was a bit more successful in terms of capacity, with around 197 MW and a lowest bid of ¥16.47. In another under-subscribed first auction held in November 2017, only 140 MW of a hoped-for 500 MW of capacity was awarded, at an average price of ¥11.49/kWh.
The main issue solar developers have to address in Japan is land availability – in part due to restrictions on the use of abandoned agricultural sites – and grid constraints.
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