2MW PV Plant Indirectly Funded by Prefectural Government

2013/10/11 16:20
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

A ceremony to celebrate the completion of a 1,960kW (1.96MW) mega-solar (large-scale photovoltaic (PV)) power plant took place Oct 10, 2013, on a site that is for industrial use and owned by the Hiroshima prefectural government.

The power plant, "Shobara PV Power Plant," was built in Shobara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. It is run by the Hiroshima Limited Liability Partnership for Promotion of Renewable Energy, which is a limited liability partnership (LLP) funded by the prefectural government, company affiliated with The Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc, etc. It is the first mega-solar business that is run by an association funded by a local government.

When a private company runs a mega-solar business on a site owned by a local government. The revenues that the government obtains from the business are only the rent and fixed property tax.

On the other hand, when a business association funded by a local government runs a mega-solar business, the government can obtain a revenue from electricity sales through the association. Therefore, the economic gain for the local government becomes greater with the latter method.

However, in this case, the business association takes the business risks involved in the operation of a mega-solar plant. In the case of the Shobara PV Power Plant, the LLP is also funded by Energia Solution & Service (ESS) Co, which is affiliated with The Chugoku Electric Power and specialized in electric facilities. And ESS provided the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services to reduce technological risks.

The PV panel and power conditioning subsystem (PCS) of the plant were manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric Corp and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), respectively.