Kyocera to Ship Solar Panels for 480MW Solar Plant in Nagasaki Within 2019, President Says

2019/11/08 16:18
Kyocera President Hideo Tanimoto making an announcement at a results briefing for the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020 (source: Nikkei BP)

Hideo Tanimoto, president of Kyocera Corp, announced Nov 1, 2019, that the company will start shipment of its solar panels within 2019 for a solar power plant (output: about 480MW) under construction in Ukujima (island) of the Goto Islands, Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.

It seems to be the largest-scale solar project certified based on the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme. In the project, about 1,650,000 polycrystalline silicon (Si) solar panels manufactured by Kyocera will be installed. The construction of the plant has already started, and work for preparing for full-scale construction is underway.

For the project in Ukujima, it is required to green areas where power generation facilities are installed. Therefore, even in areas where tree trimming and ground leveling will be carried out, foundations will be formed and mounting systems will be installed after greening.

Some areas where solar panels will be installed hardly require ground leveling. In such areas, the installation of foundations and mounting systems started early, and the panels to be shipped in 2019 will probably be delivered to those areas first.

The solar power generation-related business of Kyocera is included in the "Life/Environment" segment of the company's Device/System Business, according to its statement of accounts. Though this segment also includes medical devices, jewelry goods and applied products, solar power generation accounts for most of the segment.

Sales of the Life/Environment segment are expected to drastically grow from ¥80.114 billion (approx US$733 million) in the previous fiscal year to 98 billion in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020. This increase can be accounted for by the effect of M&A (merger and acquisition) in the medical field in the UK and the expected increase in shipment of solar panels in the second half of the fiscal year. Also, the effect of starting the shipment of solar panels for the project in Ukujima contributed to the increase.

Furthermore, the number of extra-high-voltage solar power plants that started to be constructed in August 2019 was probably large. This is because it was the last chance to obtain a right to sell electricity generated at solar power plants certified during the first three years of the FIT policy without changing purchasing prices (because of the "measures against unoperated projects," which Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced in the fall of 2018).

Shipment of solar panels for such projects will begin in the fall of 2019 or later, possibly increasing the amount of shipment of each solar panel manufacturer including Kyocera.

The profit of Kyocera's Life/Environment segment in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, is expected to be a deficit of ¥4.996 billion, which was improved from a deficit of ¥6.398 billion in the previous fiscal year. The structural reform of the company's solar power generation-related businesses that the company had carried out until the previous term contributed to the improvement, the company said.