Kyocera to begin operation of 2.4 MW solar power plant in Japan

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Greentech Lead Japan: Kyocera Corporation announced that Kyocera TCL Solar, its joint venture with Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, has begun operation of a 2.4 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan.

The Takamatsu Ikushima Mega Solar Plant is the first to be launched under the company’s business plan to operate up to 35 small- to mid-size utility-scale solar power plants in Japan.

The launch coincides with the first anniversary of Japan’s restructured feed-in-tariff (FIT) for solar power generation, which has stimulated such demand for industrial-use solar power generating systems that Japan is now poised to surpass Germany this year as the world’s largest solar market.

Kyocera’s sales of industrial solar modules, notably for mega-solar projects, have increased rapidly since the launch of Japan’s new FIT in July 2012. The company expects its Japan-market shipments of industrial solar modules to grow 250 percent in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2014 (FY2014) compared with FY2013.

Amid this continuing strong demand, the company plans to ship more than one gigawatt (1GW) of solar modules worldwide in FY2014, an increase of 25% from 800MW in FY2013.

Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing established Kyocera TCL Solar last year, with Century Tokyo Leasing as the main shareholder. Under the new company’s business model, Century Tokyo Leasing finances solar projects with Kyocera supplying 100 percent of the solar modules, system construction and ongoing maintenance.

In addition to the Takamatsu Ikushima Mega Solar Plant, ten similar projects are already under construction or in the planning stages. Five of these ten plants will have capacities less than 2MW, thus eliminating the cost of high-voltage transmission lines.

These projects are part of Kyocera’s plans to undertake up to 35 projects within two years — all small- to mid-size utility-scale power plants, which can be constructed faster than larger utility-scale installations. The plants’ cumulative capacity of approximately 60 to 70MW will represent the power requirement of about 20,000 local households*2. All electricity generated will be sold to utilities through Japan’s FIT system.

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