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Case study Tomakomai, photovoltaics

The photovoltaic park Tomakomai is located on the northern Japanese main island of Hokkaido and has one of the highest feed-in tariffs in the world (40 JPY / kWh, net). The project was acquired by Aquila Capital in the summer of 2015, developed to its final construction stage and sold on schedule to an investor. Completion and grid connection of the photovoltaic park are planned for the summer of 2018.

The PV park Tomakomai
The PV park Tomakomai

A special feature of the photovoltaic park is the integrated battery storage solution for smoothing the feed into the power grid. This was a requirement for approval of the project. In addition, the photovoltaic park is characterized by its location in the lowlands and the resulting low construction costs as well as negligible shading.

 

Region: Hokkaido Prefecture Japan

Installed capacity: 38.4 MWp

Technology: inverters from Fuji Electric, PV modules from Jinko Solar and battery storage from LG Chemical

Completion: Q3 2018 (planned)

Production: approx. 40 GWh p.a.

Capacity factor: 80%

Project development in Japan
Project development in Japan

In advance, 24 projects with a cumulative output of 900 MWp were selected from a pipeline of 75 projects and intensively tested. The individual projects had a capacity of just under 10 to 75 MWp.

The guiding principle in project development was the avoidance of risks that can typically occur in the process of project development in the field of renewable generation technologies. In Japan, in addition to project financing, these include, in particular, the complex securing of land, natural risks in earthquake- and tsunami-prone areas, and grid connection, including the securing of lucrative feed-in tariffs.

In view of the aforementioned risk approach, the "Tomakomai" project was only acquired after all land rights had been secured and then further developed until the final building permit. Another project under review was abandoned due to a volcanic eruption near the proposed facility and extra costs due to grid connection points.

One of the world's largest solar markets
One of the world's largest solar markets

Since the Fukushima disaster in 2011, Japan has become one of the world's most important photovoltaic markets. The main reasons for the strong development in recent years and the continued high attractiveness of this market are listed below:

  • Strong political support: feed-in tariffs set from 2012 to 2016, which have been determined in tenders since 2017. In addition, the better integration of renewable energies into the grid will be strongly promoted.
  • Broad popular support: According to a study, 88% of the population supported the expansion of renewable energies.
  • Economically advantageous: Higher electricity generation costs for existing nuclear power plants due to stricter safety standards and strong import dependency on fossil fuels favor the expansion of renewable energies.
One of the world's largest solar markets
Aquila Energy and Infrastucture APAC Investment Team
Aquila Energy and Infrastucture APAC Investment Team

Ein Grundsatz von Aquila Capital ist es, in den wichtigen Zielmärkten physisch vertreten zu sein, um eine optimale Zusammenarbeit mit regionalen Partnern sicherstellen zu können. Aus diesem Grund hat Aquila Capital Mitte 2017 eine Niederlassung in Tokio eröffnet, die mit Yasuhiro Odajima, Investment Manager im Energy & Infrastructure APAC Team, besetzt ist.

Das Energy & Infrastructure APAC Team ist innerhalb der Aquila Gruppe für Investments in Erneuerbare Energien in der Region „Asia Pacific“ zuständig. Es besteht aus sechs Experten, die in ihrer beruflichen Laufbahn kumuliert einen Track Record im Bereich Erneuerbare Energien von 695 MWp Photovoltaik und 380 MW Windenergie vorweisen können.

Insgesamt widmen sich mehr als 50 Experten der Entwicklung, Strukturierung und Umsetzung der Sachwert-Strategien von Aquila Capital.

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