KYOTO, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kyocera Corporation (KYO)(TOKYO:6971)
today announced the launch of a 70 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in
Kagoshima Prefecture, southern
Japan. The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant went online on
November 1 and is being operated by a special purpose company established
by Kyocera and six other companies to sell the electricity to a local
utility under Japan’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. An inauguration
ceremony was held on November 4, with the attendance of company representatives
and local governments to commemorate the launch of the country’s
largest utility-scale solar power plant*.
Expectations and interest in solar energy have heightened to a new level
in Japan with the need to resolve power supply issues resulting from
the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. To further promote the
use of renewable energy, the Japanese government launched a restructured
FIT program in July 2012, which stipulates that local utilities are required
to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more
than 10 kilowatts (kW) for a period of 20 years.
Exploring a new business model for utility-scale solar power generation,
Kagoshima Mega Solar Power Corporation was established by Kyocera and
six other companies in July 2012. Under a financing plan devised by Mizuho
Corporate Bank, the new company was tasked to develop and operate the
70MW solar power plant on land owned by IHI Corporation — with
the power generated to be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc.
based on the FIT program. As the largest shareholder of the new company,
the Kyocera Group was responsible for the supply of solar modules as
well as part of the construction, and will also undertake maintenance
of the system with Kyudenko Corporation.
Additionally, a tour facility has been built adjacent to the 70MW plant — which
is open to the public — featuring a circular viewing room where
visitors can observe the 290,000 solar panels from an elevated vantage
point and enjoy the view of the ocean bay and grand Sakurajima volcano
in the background. Display zones for visitors such as students and tourists
provide information about environmental issues and the science behind
photovoltaic energy generation. By dedicating this facility, all parties
involved hope to foster a deeper understanding of renewable energy and
further facilitate a low-carbon society.
*Largest operating solar power plant in Japan. Research by Kyocera (as
of November 1, 2013).
For more information and photos of the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar
Kyocera Corporation (KYO)(TOKYO:6971) (http://global.kyocera.com/),
the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded
in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced
ceramics”). By combining these engineered materials with metals
and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading
supplier of solar power generating systems, mobile phones, printers,
copiers, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools
and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2013, the company’s
net sales totaled 1.28 trillion yen (approx. USD13.6 billion). The company
is ranked #492 on Forbes magazine’s 2013 “Global 2000” listing
of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.