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Mitsui built solar plant starts operation

Japanese trading house Itochu Corp (TYO:8001) said on Friday that alongside its partners it has put into commercial operation a 44.8-MW solar power plant in the prefecture of Oita on the eastern coast of Kyushu.

The company owns a 50% stake in the facility, while Kyudenko Corp (TYO:1959) and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Ltd (TYO:7003) hold 30% and 20% interests, respectively. Together, they provided an “integrated approach that encompasses everything from development to operation,” Itochu noted in the press release.

Mitsui Engineering constructed the utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) park on own land in Hiyoshibaru, Oita city. The solar farm, for which Kyudenko will provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services, will sell its output to local utility Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Dubbed the Oita Hiyoshibaru Mega-Solar Power Plant, it is expected to be able to generate some 52.5 GWh of electricity annually. This is estimated to be enough to power approximately 9,300 local households and offset 32,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year.

At present, Itochu is working on two other large-scale PV plants — a 37-MW one in Okayama along with a 21-MW facility in Saga prefecture. Their completion is due in December 2016 and April 2018, accordingly.

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