GE Energy Financial Services and Virginia Solar Group Commission Mimasaka Musashi Solar Project in Okayama Prefecture, Japan
GE unit, GE Energy Financial Services and Virginia Solar Group commenced commercial operations earlier July on its jointly owned 42-megawatt Mimasaka Musashi solar project, which is located in the Okayama prefecture of Japan. Commercial operation has been officially recognized with a dedication ceremony on the site on September 28, 2016. The asset manager and original developer of Mimasaka Musashi solar project is Virginia Solar Group subsidy, Pacifico Energy K.K. Positioned on a former golf course, Pacifico Energy took control on managing construction and operations for this project. Engineering, procurement and construction has been carried out by Tokyo-based Toyo Engineering Corporation while Yingli Green Energy and TMEIC, a Toshiba and Mitsubishi joint venture, supplied the photovoltaic panels and inverters.
Mimasaka Musashi solar project sells its power to Chugoku Electric Power Company (CEPCO) the local utility in the Chugoku area of Japan, through a 20–year power purchase agreement at a fixed tariff. Mimasaka Musashi is one of three solar power projects in Japan jointly owned by GE Energy Financial Services and Virginia Solar Group. Its commissioning follows the commissioning of the 32MW Kumenan solar project, which began commercial operation in March of this year and is also located in Okayama. The Kumenan project was the first GE Energy Financial Services investment in Japan and introduced the global standard of non-recourse project financing with a JPY ¥11 billion loan from The Bank of Tokyo–Mitsubishi UFJ and The Chugoku Bank Ltd. Likewise, Mimasaka Musashi was supported by a JPY ¥13 billion credit facility from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Chugoku Bank.
“We are pleased to see another project investment come to completion and continue to deliver clean energy in support of Japan’s renewable energy goals,” said Sushil Verma, Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific at GE Energy Financial Services. “The Mimasaka project turned out very well and we appreciate how hard everyone worked to make it successful. We look forward to continuing to develop and construct solar projects in Japan,” said Nate Franklin, Partner of Virginia Solar Group. The project helps to achieve Mimasaka’s goal of converting itself into a zero emission city and contributes to the end objective of Japan having 20 percent of its power generated from renewable sources. GE Energy Financial Services and Virginia Solar Group have also invested in a third project in Japan, Hosoe (96-megawatt), which is currently under construction and scheduled to be operating in the first half of 2018.