JX Nippon to build mega solar plant in Uruma

August 9, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation plans to build a 12 megawatts solar power plant in Uruma. Involving a total investment of about 3.5 billion yen, it aims to start operating the plant in March 2015. The company is making use of the land in Uruma owned by the Okinawa CTS Corporation, one of the group of companies. It will be the largest solar power plant in Okinawa.

JX Nippon’s solar power plant will comprise six facilities, including two plants already running. The plant in Okinawa will be the largest that the company owns.
According to a plan released on August 8, it will use about 180,000 square meters of vacant ground, which the Okinawa CTS has reserved for future oil storage. The company expects to generate the equivalent of the annual power needs of about 2,700 households (the average household uses about 5,500 kWh of electricity). JX Nippon will sell all of the power produced at the plant to the Okinawa Electric Power Co.

A spokesman for the company explained, “We will not increase the oil storage capacity. To take advantage of these assets we’ve decided to have a go at the power-generation business.” After the plant is built, JX Nippon will entrust its maintenance to the Okinawa CTS.

The company is working on solar power generation projects to take advantage of unused land owned by the group companies. The system for purchase of renewable energy sourced electricity by electric utilities that came into effect in July 2012 encouraged the company to move on the new business. JX Energy already has mega solar plants in Yamaguchi and Miyagi prefectures. The Miyagi facility has an output capacity of 1 megawatt and the Yamaguchi facility 1.75 megawatts. Both of these facilities are already generating power and the Ibaraki facility, with a capacity of 2 megawatts, will begin to generate in November. The company is building mega solar power plants in Fukushima and Akita some time after 2014.
The total solar power output of the six facilities, including those planned for construction, will be about 22 megawatts.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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