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Japan Inc. makes big renewables push

SoftBank's utility-scale solar power plant in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture, began commercial operation on March 10. It is the company's 18th solar facility.

TOKYO -- Japan's retail electricity market will be liberalized in April 2016. Regional power companies from that month will lose their monopolies on electricity sales to households, mom-and-pop retail stores and other small businesses. With the opening of the retail market a year away, competition to get into the huge market is growing. There are 84 million low-voltage contracts nationwide, worth a total of 7.5 trillion yen ($61.2 billion).

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