BayWa r.e., a leading global renewable energy company from Germany, successfully completed this year the construction of a solar park in Kagoshima Prefecture (Southwestern Japan). This renewable energy asset has been purchased by D&D Solar GK, a new joint venture created by Osaka Gas and the Development Bank of Japan. Over the last ten years, an increasing number of European companies have been sharing their expertise in renewable energy development, to the benefit of energy transition in Japan.
BayWa r.e. was created in Germany in 2009 by gathering several experienced companies from the renewable energy sector. Today, BayWa r.e. is a leading global renewable energy developer, service supplier, distributor and energy solutions provider, with an expertise in solar, wind and bioenergy. The company has operations throughout Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, and is strategically investing in new and emerging markets. Worldwide, BayWa r.e. has successfully brought over 3.5 GW of renewable energy online and is managing 8.5 GW of renewable assets.
In Japan, BayWa r.e. has already delivered in April 2020 a 11.9 MW solar park, and has several other projects in development, including a 35 MW project due for completion in 2021. BayWa r.e. already has close to 100 MW of green energy in its pipeline in Japan.
D&D Solar GK has been set up in 2020 as a joint venture of Osaka Gas and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). The company was created to enable the purchase of solar farms in Japan.
Founded in 1897, Osaka Gas is the historic gas company of the city of Osaka and the surrounding Kansai region, in central Japan. In the 1970s, Osaka Gas entered its first overseas natural gas project. The company is now present in various energy projects throughout the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, Australia and North America. Over the recent years, as part of its sustainability strategy, Osaka Gas has defined renewable energy as an important source for its future development. The company intends to develop and acquire renewable energy power sources of over 1GW both domestically and globally by 2030.
The Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) was founded in 2008. Owned by the Government of Japan, DBJ provides investment and loan services to domestic and international clients. In 2017, DBJ enacted its policy on sustainability. DBJ now actively supports actions contributing to the achievement of a decarbonised society through the provision of risk money to renewable energy projects.
Completed in Spring this year, the 11.9 MW solar park built in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture (Kyushu), is the first realization of BayWa r.e. in Japan. The park, providing the equivalent of the power consumption of 5000 households, spans over a 24-hectare site.
“After establishing the team and our operations in the market, the completion of this project and continued development of our pipeline, really underpins our commitment to the country,” comments Tetsuya Oura, President of BayWa r.e Japan.
For the German company, Japan is a very important market in the region. The recent commitment of Japan to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is seen as a very encouraging sign for investments in renewables, and opens potential for European companies to actively contribute. BayWa r.e. sees in particular potential in ground-mounted solar, but also floating solar and agri-solar.
The Izumi solar park was acquired in December 2020 by D&D Solar GK. In concrete terms, both companies forming the joint venture, Osaka Gas and DBJ, own half of the solar farm. The electricity is sold to the grid.
"D&D Solar has been set up to enable the purchase of solar farms here in Japan, and our purchase of the BayWa r.e. site at Izumi marks our first successful transaction." KOICHIRO AGE, OSAKA GAS AND YASUHIRO MATSUI, DBJ
Both partners, BayWa r.e. and D&D Solar, expect that this first successful cooperation could be followed by more projects. Koichiro Age, Head of Renewable Energy Development at Osaka Gas and Yasuhiro Matsui, General Manager of DBJ commented: “D&D Solar has been set up to enable the purchase of solar farms here in Japan, and our purchase of the BayWa r.e. site at Izumi marks our first successful transaction. We look forward to making further purchases of this nature, and to continuing to work with BayWa r.e. and to push forward the global renewable energy transition.”
Such projects, in which a renewable energy asset is designed and built by a European company to be purchased and managed by a Japanese company, is one of the many cooperation models between Europe and Japan in the field of renewables.
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