ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Showa Shell to build 10 megasolar plants by 2015

TOKYO -- Showa Shell Sekiyu will invest around 30 billion yen ($288.68 million) to construct 10 megasolar power plants across Japan by 2015.

     Wholly owned unit Solar Frontier, which specializes in solar energy, will break ground on a 30,000kW megasolar facility this year on a property adjacent to Nagasaki Airport. In addition to supplying panels, Solar Frontier will handle solar farm construction, operations and maintenance.

     Solar Frontier has a business tie-up with Germany's Belectric, which has built a number of megasolar plants worldwide offering more than 1 million kilowatts of power, and Japanese plant engineering firm Chiyoda. It will tap both firms' know-how in such areas as shortening construction timelines, to lower project costs.

     Power capacity developed by Solar Frontier, including existing facilities, will jump sixfold to 100,000kW -- bringing it on a par with other domestic solar panel giants such as Sharp. The capacity is equivalent to enough power for 30,000 households.

     Solar Frontier makes CIS (copper-indium-selenium) solar panels instead of the crystalline silicon type that is the global mainstay among manufacturers. CIS panels offer a lower energy conversion rate than those made of crystalline silicon, but are less susceptible to weather and low-light conditions and thus provide stable energy volume.

     In 2013, Solar Frontier's solar cell shipments were equivalent to some 900,000kW on a volume basis, giving it a roughly 10% share of the Japanese market -- the largest after Sharp and Kyocera.

     But the domestic market has seen an influx of foreign solar cell makers since the July 2012 rollout of Japan's feed-in tariff program, which requires utilities to purchase power from renewable energy sources at a fixed rate. In just one year, prices of solar energy systems have fallen by 10% or so, making it difficult to profit from panel sales alone.

     Solar power prices under the feed-in program will also be lowered from April to encourage an expansion in wind power and other forms of renewable energy. Anticipating a decline in orders, Solar Frontier hopes to offset that by focusing on comprehensive services that include construction, maintenance and operation of solar farms.

(Nikkei)

 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends April 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media