GE to add 14MW to Japanese renewables portfolio

The US energy firm's investment arm will jointly develop a solar project with Chinese module maker Trina Solar.

GE Energy Financial Services has acquired an 85 percent equity stake in a 14MW solar project in Japan from Trina Solar, a Chinese panel manufacturer.

Both companies will jointly develop the project and fund it on a pro-rata basis. A management committee, consisting of two representatives appointed by each firm, will also be established to manage day-to-day operations. 

Trina Solar declined to disclose the transaction value. 

Located in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, the project will begin construction this month, featuring Trina Solar’s modules. It is expected to reach commercial operations by June next year. 

The power generated will be sold to regional utility Tohoku Electric Power under a 20-year contract with a feed-in tariff rate at JPY36 ($0.32; €0.29) per kWh. 

This is GE's seventh solar project in Japan. Among the six solar power assets GE has invested in, three have already achieved commercial operation in 2016. 

GE EFS entered the country in 2014 with a plan to invest more than $1 billion annually in renewables projects worldwide. 

“Trina Solar is an experienced global developer and we are proud to work with them to bring this exciting project in Miyagi, Japan to fruition and to continue to expand our footprint in Asia,” said Sushil Verma, managing director and head of Asia Pacific at GE EFS, in a statement.

“Leveraging our proven track record of 1GW in developing and building solar projects around the world, we have been working to actively expand our presence in the downstream market in Japan. The country remains one of our main target markets where the share of solar in the energy mix is expected to further increase,” added David You, president of the international PV system business unit at Trina Solar. 

Japan is now working to achieve a goal of generating 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.