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4 February 2013

Solar Frontier forming joint investment firm with Development Bank of Japan to fund utility-scale power plants

In mid-January, Tokyo-based Solar Frontier - the largest manufacturer of CIS (copper indium selenium) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solar modules -reached a basic agreement with the Development Bank of Japan Inc (DBJ) to establish a joint investment company that will provide funding for utility-scale solar power plants.

The company will begin operating in February and initially target investments in projects totaling 100MW annually. The firm will become an independent power producer (IPP) and will invest in utility-scale solar projects throughout Japan. Of total capital, Solar Frontier will contribute 60% and DBJ 40%.

The company will invest in not only large-scale projects but also a wide range of projects, including those that have a suitable land plot to develop but have not progressed in terms of finding power producers or financing sources, as well as those less than 2MW (for which it is generally difficult to source project finance).

By providing integrated processes along the value chain from financing to construction and IPP operations, the new firm aims to respond speedily to demand for utility-scale projects in the Japanese market. It also aims to be more competitive in the downstream business by using a new business model to sell already up-and-running projects to IPPs and investors.

While adding value in the downstream area of solar projects, Solar Frontier says it will support a wide range of customers looking to enter the IPP business by accumulating expertise from the development and operation of IPP projects.

Solar Frontier says that its CIS thin-film photovoltaic modules are being adopted in utility-scale projects both in Japan and abroad. The firm intends to contribute further to the widespread use of renewable energy in Japan by not only supplying solar panels but also providing a full range of services for solar power generation projects.

Tags: Solar Frontier CIS


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