Kyushu Electric Says About 5,000 Solar Projects Cut Amid Reviews

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said about 5,000 solar-power projects planned in regions served by the Japanese utility have been canceled amid reviews of grid capacity for clean energy.

The projects canceled in February would have combined capacity of about 1,400 megawatts, Daishin Kuramoto, a spokesman for Kyushu Electric, said by phone Thursday, confirming an earlier report by the Mainichi newspaper.

Kuramoto declined to comment on what led developers to call off their plans, saying they weren’t asked to give the company reasons.

The cancellations came after a recent government rule change that allows utilities to ask solar-power producers to reduce output without having to compensate them once utilities’ grid capacity for clean energy reaches its peak.

The government is reviewing ways to incorporate more clean energy into Japan’s power grids amid a boom in solar installations triggered by an incentive program introduced in July 2012.

Kyushu suspended giving grid access to new entrants in September to review how much more clean energy its grids can handle. Other utilities followed, raising concerns for solar developers.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry later announced rule changes, including one that would remove obligations for utilities to compensate solar-power producers.

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