More solar power planned for Japanese grid

Marubeni Corp. says construction will begin in July.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  June 5, 2014 at 10:32 AM
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TOKYO, June 5 (UPI) -- Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corp. said Thursday it signed an agreement to build three solar power plants near the country's western coast.

Marubeni said it will build and operate three solar power plants in Niigata Prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Combined, the facilities would be able to produce 2,700 kilowatts of power.

"Marubeni will construct the environmentally friendly mega-solar plants by utilizing disused spaces such as closed school grounds," the company said in a statement.

Marubeni in April started construction at a solar power plant in Iwanuma City, part of an effort to reclaim land spoiled by the 2011 tsunami.

Japan began looking to add diversity to its energy mix when the tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Iwanuma solar facility will have the capacity to produce 28.3 megawatts of energy.

Electricity from the Niigata facilities will be feed into the national grid according to a 20-year purchase agreement. Construction is scheduled from July to December.

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