Japan Approves Mega Solar Power Project, Paper Says

A remote island off Sasebo city in southern Japan has won permission to construct one of Japan’s biggest solar power plants, the Nagasaki newspaper said.

Construction of a 400-megawatt solar power facility is aimed at creating new income sources and securing employment of 150 jobs in the island as the population ages and declines, the newspaper said, citing city council member Hirofumi Oiwa. Photovolt Development Partners GmbH and other partners will set up a venture in May to proceed with the project, the paper said.

The island will borrow idled land and construct and operate the facilities for 20 years with the project costing a total of 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion), the paper said. Electricity will be supplied to Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Sasebo city’s mainland by building undersea transmission lines, the paper said.

Japan last year introduced a feed-in-tariff program paying renewable energy generators above-market rates for their output. The country last week gave final approval to a recommendation to cut the tariff for solar power by 10 percent for the year started April 1 to 37.8 yen (40 cents) per kilowatt hour for 20 years.

(Corrects time frame of Japan’s incentive program in last paragraph in story originally published April 2.)
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