Canadian Solar Inc. announced today that its Japan flagship mega-project, the 100 MWp Azuma Kofuji solar project located in the Fukushima Prefecture, recently reached commercial operation.
The Azuma Kofuji project is Canadian Solar's project in Japan and Fukushima Prefecture's largest operational solar project to date. The project is powered with Canadian Solar high efficiency HiKu modules and the energy generated is being purchased by the Tohoku Electric Power Company at the rate of JPY36 (U$0.26) per kWh under Japan's feed-in-tariff program for over 18 years. Canadian Solar's local subsidiary will perform the long-term operations and maintenance of the power plant.
Built on 460 acres, most of which were converted from abandoned agricultural land following the application of the newly enacted Japanese legislation to promote renewable energy power generation, Azuma Kofuji is expected to produce circa 106,800 MWh of clean and reliable energy, enough to power approximately 31,000 households and avoid over 50,000 metrics tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. Furthermore, the project will donate a share of the electricity sales revenues to the Fukushima City, funds of which will be used to promote local agricultural sector activities.
The project was financed by Nomura Capital Investment Co., Ltd. with a construction debt of JPY 24.5 billion (approximately U$175 million), which received an Asset Triple A deal award under the Renewable Energy Deal of the Year Category. The project is expected to participate in the Climate Bonds green certification process which is compatible with the new European Union Green Bond Standard.
"We are delighted to contribute our part to revitalize the Fukushima Prefecture. Before construction works began, the Azuma Kofuji project site was an abandoned, non-productive farmland. Our teams worked closely with the local communities and government in the land conversion process and successfully passed the Environmental Impact Assessment monitored by the Fukushima Prefecture. We are proud to help reinvigorate the local community and economy in a region that was heavily hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. We want to ensure that local communities are long-term beneficiaries of clean, renewable energy, and we are proud to take part in rebuilding economic and energy resilience in the Fukushima hometowns while supporting Japan's 2050 carbon neutrality ambitions. Furthermore, I am proud that our team persevered through a time of great economic and market uncertainty to bring this valuable project to good end," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar.
He added, "These projects continue to expand Canadian Solar's strong track record in Japan as we keep developing our business in a sustainable and responsible manner and contributing to Japan's clean energy transition. We now have over 470 MWp of utility-scale projects that are operational or under construction, and two partnership platforms in Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund (TSE: 9284) and Japan Green Infrastructure Fund. We are also one of the strongest solar module brands in Japan driven by our differentiated technology and large manufacturing scale. Put together, we have further solidified Canadian Solar's leadership position as the most integrated solar player in the Japanese market. We thank our financing partners who continue to support Canadian Solar with low-cost capital, which allow us to develop and expand our high-quality project portfolio in Japan."