Pacifico Energy has started the construction of the 77 MW (DC) solar power plant in Ako-gun and Sayo-gun, in Japan. The EPC contractor of the plant is Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation, and the plant will be mainly constructed on the site of a golf course. The commercial operations are expected to begin in 2023. Once commissioned, the solar plant will generate approximately 93 million kWh of electricity annually, contributing to a reduction of approximately 500 thousand tons of carbon di-oxide emissions for around nineteen years. The solar plant has been financed by MUFG Bank. Baker McKenzie acted as the legal counsel to Pacifico Energy.
Japan has been enthusiastically promoting solar energy. In November 2020, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) of Japan announced the allocation of 368.8 MW of solar project capacity in its sixth auction for solar projects of 250 kW capacity or more. A total of 255 bids were selected by the ministry ranging from 300 kW to 68.8 MW. METI had initially proposed the allocation of solar projects with a total capacity of 750 MW and had set a ceiling price of $0.114 per kWh. In the auction, the lowest tariff was $0.095 per kWh and the highest was recorded at $0.114 per kWh.
In October 2020, Japan had announced that it would make efforts to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Further, it aims to achieve carbon-neutrality by reducing its reliance on coal in addition to supporting solar power projects and carbon capture mechanisms. Japan plans to phase out coal and increase its renewable energy target to 45 per cent by 2030. Prior to this announcement, the government had targeted to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in emissions from 2010 levels.