On Wednesday, Toshiba Corp. announced that it would be entering Japan’s push for solar power by building a new plant in Fukushima that is capable of generating 100 megawatts of electricity. The electronics manufacturer has said it will be spending almost 30 billion yen (approx. $379.6 million) to build Japan’s largest solar power plant in Minami Soma, Fukshima Prefecture.
The effort to build a solar power plant in the same prefecture as the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant comes a little over a year after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami disasters. Toshiba plans to start construction on the facility before the end of the year, and hopes to have operations begin sometime in 2014. Their claim of building the largest solar plant in Japan does easily trump Kyocera’s previous announcement of a 70 megawatt solar facility in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima, but both companies have seem to forgotten that Softbank already has plans to build a 200 megawatt plant in Hokkaido.
The push by many companies, large and small, to enter the solar power market in Japan comes with the government’s approval of profitable pricing incentives. Utility companies will be required to purchase electricity from providers of renewable energies. This is expected to lead to billions of dollars in investments for clean energy, and will hopefully lead to less of a reliance on nuclear power for Japan.
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