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Softbank Plans Solar Power Generation Renting Residential Roofs

Softbank Plans Solar Power Generation Renting Residential Roofs
Solar panels sit at SB Energy Corp.'s Softbank Kyoto Solar Park in Japan. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Softbank Corp., Japan’s third largest mobile-phone carrier, will install solar panels on rooftops of 1,000 homes across the country to take advantage of the country’s incentive program for clean energy.

The Tokyo-based company will sell power generated from solar systems supplied by Sharp Corp. and Suntech Power Japan Corp. to utilities, Softbank said in a statement today.

Softbank will pay about 15 percent of what it earns from solar power generation to home owners for rooftop space and they can keep the panels after the contract of 20 years expires, Fumihide Tomizawa, a Softbank official in charge of the project, said in a press briefing.

Panels on 1,000 homes would have about 4 megawatts in total capacity, according to Tomizawa. Softbank will start taking applications on Dec. 21 from home owners in 31 prefectures.

Japan started so-called feed-in tariffs in July that require utilities to pay above-market rates for electricity produced from renewable energy sources, with added costs passed on to consumers as a surcharge. The tariff for solar this fiscal year through March 31 is 42 yen (51 cents) per kilowatt hour for 20 years.

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