LG CNS will establish a 55-megawatt (MW) solar power generation plant in the Mine region of Yamaguchi Prefecture, which will be one of the five largest solar plants in Japan, the company said Tuesday.
The solar plant project, ordered by global solar energy company Canadian Solar, will reach a business scale of about 170 billion won ($142.55 million). The system integration business affiliate of LG Group said establishment of such a large solar power plant in Japan will set a solid foothold to enter the Japanese solar energy market where foreign companies have had difficulties clinching business opportunities.
“The Shin Mine solar power plant establishment project will be a solid foothold for the Japanese market which is difficult for foreign businesses to enter,” LG CNS Vice President Ha Tae-seok said in a statement. “LG CNS will continue to seek more business opportunities in Japan’s eco-friendly energy market in the future and expand our overseas energy business under close cooperation with global partners.”
The construction will continue for the next 18 months. Once it goes online in May 2018, the new solar plant will be able to produce 64.5GWh of electricity a year, which some 23,500 households can use year round, according to LG CNS.
LG CNS signed the Shin Mine plant deal with Canadian Solar earlier this month. The Shin Mine plant will be the fifth solar energy facility for LG CNS to build in Japan, following a 10MW plant in Shimane and a 33MW plant in Oita completed last year, and the first that can produce more than 50MW. Once the new plant in Mine is completed, LG CNS will be able to solidify the leading Korean solar power generation business in Japan.
The size of Japan’s solar energy market reaches about 9.7GW per year, which is one of the world’s largest alongside those of China and the United States. But the Japanese solar energy sector has been a difficult marketplace for foreign businesses to enter due to the country’s stubborn quality control rules and complicated business processes.
The company also said it is working to win another 100MW solar power business deal in Japan.
The LG affiliate said it is the only Korean system integration business with a license to work on electricity, construction and civil engineering in Japan. It has pushed to expand its technological and human resource capacities for turn-key deals in engineering, procurement and construction in Japan.
Globally, it has completed solar power generation facilities including a 14MW plant in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, a 10MW plant in Yeonggwang, South Jeolla Province, a 21.3MW plant in Bulgaria and a 33MW plant in Hiroshima, Japan.
As of Dec. 1, LG CNS has reorganized its smart energy business division that takes charge of new growth engines such as energy, signage and smart building businesses.
“LG CNS will continue pushing for internal growth through the latest reorganization and will expedite expansion of its energy business,” an LG CNS official said. “We will diversify our energy business based on our experience in establishing land solar plants, floating power plants and energy storage systems while boosting overseas activities including in the North American market.”