Pacifico Energy reaches financial close, begins construction of 121MWdc Japan PV plant

Commercial operations at the plant are expected to begin in 2023. Image: Pacifico Energy.

Solar developer Pacifico Energy has started building work on a 121MWdc solar project on the site of a former golf course in Japan, with juwi Shizen Energy hired as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.

Pacifico has also reached financial close for the plant, with financing mainly provided by MUFG Bank and Mitsubishi HC Capital.

Under construction in Sanda, Hyogo Prefecture, the project will generate approximately 143 million kWh of electricity annually when complete in 2023.

Hiroki Matsuo, CEO of Pacifico Energy, said: “We are committed to the challenge of achieving grid parity for renewable energy sources and developing power sources that are rooted in local communities to protect the global environment and achieve Japan’s carbon-neutral goals.”

The use of an abandoned golf course is intended to minimise construction and deforestation, and avoid impacting the natural environment.

Juwi Shizen Energy, a joint venture between juwi and Shizen Energy, last year secured a similar EPC contract to build a solar project at another former golf course in Japan.

Japan is aiming to have 108GW of solar capacity by 2030. It aims to hit that target by installing solar panels on 50% of central government and municipality buildings, adding 6GW of capacity; boosting solar on corporate buildings and car parks, which will add 10GW; and adding 4GW in public land and promotion areas in 1,000 Japanese towns and cities.

Currently, 70% of Japan’s electricity is produced through coal and natural gas, with it aiming to reduce its emissions by 46% by 2030 compared with 2013 levels.