Orix Corp. to Invest $680 Million in Solar Power Projects

Orix Corp. (8591), a Japanese finance and leasing company, plans to spend 54 billion yen ($680 million) on solar projects worth 200 megawatts in the next three years.

Orix will invest 30 billion yen to build solar power stations with a total capacity of 100 megawatts, Tamaki Shibata, a spokeswoman for the Tokyo-based company, said today. A further 24 billion yen will be spent to lease rooftop space from factories and warehouses for the installation of panels to produce 100 megawatts of capacity, she said.

The plans come after Japan introduced an incentive program for clean energy including solar and wind in July. Feed-in tariffs require utilities to pay above-market rates to producers of clean energy with the added costs passed to consumers as surcharges.

Shibata confirmed a report today in the Tokyo Shimbun that said the company may increase the investment to a total of 100 billion yen to build as much as 400 megawatts of capacity.

“We will closely monitor panel and land prices,” she said.

The government set the feed-in tariff for solar at 42 yen per kilowatt-hour for 20 years, about triple the 14.59 yen per kilowatt-hour industrial users paid for electricity in the 12 months ended in March.

Orix is developing a 2 megawatt solar plant in Kagawa prefecture scheduled to begin operating as early as January, according to the spokeswoman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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