Kyocera, Partners Plan 430MW Solar Plant in Japan

Kyocera Corp., the maker of products from ceramics to telecommunications equipment, is planning to develop a 430-megawatt solar power project on the southern Japanese island of Ukujima.

Kyoto-based Kyocera has agreed with four partners -- Photovolt Development Partners GmbH, Kyudenko Corp., Orix Corp. and Mizuho Bank Ltd. -- to study the project’s feasibility, it said in a statement today.

The Ukujima project, covering about a quarter of the island, would need investment of around 150 billion yen ($1.47 billion), with construction targeted to begin between April 2015 and March 2016, according to the release.

It will use around 1.72 million Kyocera-supplied solar modules to generate enough power to supply almost 140,000 households for a year, the company said.

A 60-kilometer (37 mile) undersea cable will connect Ukujima to the main island of Kyushu and all power produced by the project will be sold to Kyushu Electric Power Co.

Japan began offering incentives through feed-in tariffs in July 2012 to encourage investments in energy sources such as wind and solar. Applications for solar projects have soared, accounting for the vast majority of renewable energy capacity installed in Japan since the Fukushima disaster of March 2011.

Berlin-based Photovolt Development has developed solar power stations in Germany, Italy and Spain, according to its website.

(Corrects name of island in third paragraph.)
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