Renewable energy is reshaping the energy landscape in Japan. At the time of a shrinking feed-in-tariff, Japanese energy companies are concentrated on improving their technology to enable more cost-effective solar energy. Following the partnership commenced last year to bring the latest 1,500-volt solar inverter technology to the Japanese solar market, GE (NYSE: GE) has installed the first unit of two in Looop Co., Ltd.’s (Looop) solar power plant, located in Ibaragi prefecture, last month. Today, the inverter is in smooth operation in the field. The successful commercial operation of the unit marks the entry of 1,500-volt solar technology in Japan’s solar market.
“Looop strives to make renewable energy become the central pillar of the electricity generation in Japan. We embrace advanced technology that leads to more cost-effective and thus, more viable, solar energy production. The partnership with GE has strengthened our confidence to achieve the goal,” said Soichiro Nakamura, president of Looop Co., Ltd. Based on the agreement, GE was chosen to provide two, LV5 1-megawatt (MW), 1,500-volt inverters to Looop. The LV5 inverter from GE’s Power Conversion can provide broad-ranging benefits compared to the last generation of 1,000-volt inverters. The more-efficient inverter technology reduces costs associated with infrastructure, deployment and operation expenditures, which can lead to up to a 3 percent lower system cost and up to 15 percent less in maintenance costs.
“At GE, we always work to enable solutions that will help lower the cost of electricity while improving energy yields. GE was the first to introduce 1,500-volt solar inverter technology into the global market. Today, GE has achieved a global installed base of more than 2 gigawatts, allowing customers to enable more cost-effective solar plants worldwide,” said Paul English, APAC region sales leader, GE’s Power Conversion. “We are committed to building solar energy as the growth engine to meet Japan’s energy demands.”