The Japanese PV market knows several characteristics, but one of the most important ones is the enormous amount of over 50GW of projects in the pipeline, waiting for construction. We thought it would be interesting to find out what the largest PV plants are that are actually already operating. For this reason, as part of our preparation for the conference Solar Asset Management (June 24-25, Tokyo), we have created an overview of the 25 largest operational PV projects in Japan.


Top 10 Operational Solar PV Plants in Japan

# Name Size (MWp) Location Year
1 Oita Solar Power 82.02 Oita City 2014
2 Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant 70 Kagoshima City 2013
3 Tahara Solar-Wind™ Joint Project 50 Tahara City 2014
4 Kisozaki reclaimed land mega-solar 49 Kisosaki Town in Kuwana District, Kuwana City and Yatomi City 2014
5 Softbank Tottori-Yonago Solar Park 42.9 Yonago City 2014
6 Tahara Solar Daini Power Plant 40.7 Tahara City 2015
7 Futtsu Solar 40.36 Futtsu City 2014
8 Tahara Solar Daiichi Power Plant 40.2 Tahara City 2015
9 Mito Newtown Mega Solar Park 39.21 Mito City 2015
10 Awaji Kifune Solar Power Plant (淡路貴船太陽光発電所) 34.7 Awaji City 2014

Get access to the full Top 25, including highly detailed listings of involved Owners, Developers, EPCs, O&M Providers, Module suppliers & Inverter suppliers by leaving your contact details at the bottom of the article.


Some interesting observations from this overview:

Highly fragmented ownership

Only two plants in this overview belong to the same owner (Tahara Solar Co., Ltd.), all the other 23 plants are owned by different companies. This situation matches the situation in Europe a few years ago, before the start of the still ongoing process of portfolios aggregation. We believe the right ingredients are available in the market for this process to take off soon also in Japan.

70% of plants in overview contains Japanese modules

Despite the fact we see project developers in Japan increasingly also select non-Japanese PV modules for their projects, of the 25 largest operational projects at least 70% of the plants still contains Japanese modules (of 2 plants this information in undisclosed).

TMEIC is very well represented

It’s impressive to see how Japanese inverter TMEIC has a large share in these largest PV plants: nearly half of these plants (12) rely on inverters from this Japanese market leader. It will be interesting to see if this picture is the same for utility scale PV plants still to be constructed.

Plants still very young

Of this overview, only 3 plants have been connected in 2013, 11 of them in 2014, the remaining 11 plants have become operational only in the last 4 months. This points out once again that the Japanese market is still only in the takeoff phase and many issues that will occur during the operational phase are still to be found out – at least for utility scale plants.

Most of the largest plants are in Kyushu area

18 out of the 25 plants in this overview are located in the Western part of Japan and 10 out of the 25 plants are in the Kyushu area. Interestingly, this is very probably in relation to the fact Kyushu Electric (the utility serving this area) has been the first utility to suspend grid access for new plants last September.

Reasons for his large share of big operating plants to be located in this area include the relatively high solar irradiation and relatively slightly lower prices of land.

We leave it to the readers to draw further observations and conclusions, feel free to comment on this article and share it. Stay in the loop for further Top-X articles we are working on (projects under construction, PV portfolios) or let us know any suggestions for such overviews.

What makes the conference Solar Asset Management Asia ( June 24-25 in Tokyo) unique, is its strong focus on all topics relevant to the operational phase of PV plants and portfolios. Please visit www.solarassetmanagement.asia for more information.

The overview is based on public available data and might not be totally complete. Please feel free to contact us directly with any comments, suggestions or corrections.


The Full Top 25

Get access to the full Top 25, including highly detailed listings of involved Owners, Developers, EPCs, O&M Providers, Module suppliers & Inverter suppliers by leaving your contact details here.

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