Resale Market for Solar Power Plants Emerging in Japan

2013/10/24 17:17
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Alpha Chee-lar (Shibuya Ward, Tokyo), a firm that is wholly owned by Alpha Group Inc and carries on a renewable energy-related business, etc, started to resell mega-solar (large-scale solar power generation) businesses.

Alpha Chee-lar resells solar power plants that are owned or built by the company to individual investors and firms that are planning to sell electricity generated by mega-solar plants based on the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme. The company has already concluded a deal Oct 18, 2013. And it is planning to continue to actively look for purchasers.

Alpha Chee-lar has so far planned to build five mega-solar plants with a capacity of about 2MW each on five sites in Fukuoku Prefecture, Kyoto and Tochigi Prefecture. Among them, a plant in Fukuoku Prefecture started operations Oct 2, 2013.

The company plans to sell two plants in Kyoto and one plant in Tochigi Prefecture. In addition, it purchased a site for solar power generation in the Yamaga region of Kumamoto Prefecture, planning to build a 2-30MW mega-solar plant for resale.

The feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme was instituted in July 2012 in Japan. And tariffs will be set at relatively high levels for three years after that in consideration of the profits of electricity producers. Solar power plants that were certified by Japan's government during this three-year period are likely to be resold in the future because they are relatively profitable.

Those who develop mega-solar projects can quickly recoup initial investment by selling their plants. On the other hand, purchasers of the plants can save time and effort for preparing projects. Orix Corp is considering a business of purchasing mega-solar plants that cannot start operations on schedule in the resale market and starting their operations by using its know-how.