Etrion ready to take advantage of FiT cut threat in Japan
Aomori solar park in Japan. Source: Etrion (www.etrion.com).
Independent power producer Etrion SA (TSE:ETX) sees the newly introduced solar project deadlines in Japan as an opportunity to come to the rescue of affected projects, and not as a threat to its own pipeline.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) last week set new grid connection application submission and acceptance deadlines for projects that have not made much progress since they secured feed-in tariffs (FiTs) in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Not meeting the deadline will result in a reduction of the awarded FiT to JPY 21 (USD 0.19/EUR 0.16) per kWh from the respective rates of JPY 40, JPY 36 and JPY 32 that were valid for these three years.
Marco Northland, CEO of Etrion, said today the rules are less stringent than expected. The Japan-focused solar developer confirms that the 45-MW Niigata project will not be affected and will progress as planned. A 60-MW project in Mie prefecture “is very unlikely to be affected” as it has most of its permits in place and its entering construction in 2019 is quite possible.
Etrion is evaluating the overall feasibility of the 45-MW Kumamoto solar project in the context of the new METI rules.
What is known as the FiT Amendment Act Ordinance is actually opening up new opportunities for the company in Japan as many developers will be needing support to speed up work on their solar projects, Marco Northland said. Information previously released by METI shows that 23.52 GW of solar projects with FiT contracts awarded between 2012 and 2014 may be affected by the new rules.
“Etrion is actively screening the market to identify affected projects that can benefit from Etrion’s market position and local expertise,” the company’s CEO said.