BayWa r.e. has achieved financial close for construction of a new 50 MW solar park on the outskirts of Kobe City, Japan.
Financing for the project was structured by NORD LB bank for a total facility size of circa 70 million Euros. It will cover the construction of the powerplant, which started with ground-breaking in 2021, and is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2023.
Once complete, the solar plant, which is being built by global renewable energy developer, service provider and distributor, BayWa r.e., will be the largest solar PV development in Kobe City and will make a major contribution towards Hyogo Prefecture’s renewable energy efforts.
“Building solar farms in Japan requires careful consideration of local environment aspects, especially for large scale developments. Another challenge is the terrain, which in many cases requires additional civil works to prepare the site,” said Tetsuya Oura, President of BayWa r.e Japan K.K.
“However, our recent experience in constructing the 35 MW site at Isohara will stand us in good stead, along with our global expertise in delivering utility scale solar parks in a variety of geographies.”
Central to BayWa r.e.’s plans for the new solar farm have been the development of relationships with local businesses and community groups in the region, including local farmers.
“We appreciate the different concerns that communities have about such developments, and we’ve made sure that we bring them along on the journey with us.
“Key to our approach is providing them reassurance, information and positive engagement at every stage of the project. We are keen to be part of the local community and a good neighbour” added Mr. Oura.
The plant will be located on a 107 hectare site in Kobe City (total development area including remaining forest space). It will comprise over 110,000 panels and when it is fully operational, will be able to supply enough electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.
In the autumn of 2020, Japan’s Prime Minister announced plans for the country to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050. This bold pledge sets Japan on a course to become carbon neutral in 30 years, and it is developments like the Kobe City solar farm that will help the country achieve its ambitions.
“We are pleased to be playing a role in helping Japan continue its renewable energy transition,” said Daniel Gaefke, APAC Director, BayWa r.e.
“The country has seen six straight years of lower greenhouse gas emissions and is set to accelerate research and development of next generation solar technologies as part of its bid to establish a net zero economy by 2050.
“We look forward to continuing to support the government as it pursues its climate change goals.”
Construction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023, with a Commercial Operation Date in September.