American solar PV manufacturer First Solar has secured $240 million in funding from Japan-based Mizuho Bank for the development of a 59.5 megawatt utility-scale solar project in the Ishikawa prefecture.
First Solar announced on Tuesday that it had obtained non-recourse project debt financing of approximately 27 billion yen, or $240 million, in a syndicated loan arranged by Mizhuo Bank, the integrated retail and corporate banking unit of Mizuho Financial Group, one of the largest financial services companies in Japan.
Japan is one of the world’s leading solar countries, having installed 8.7 gigawatts (GW) of new solar in 2016, the third highest behind China and the US — however, Japan is expected to fall to fourth place this year, installing 5.8 GW, behind Indonesia which will jump to third and install an estimated 8.7 GW in 2017.
The $240 million taken in by First Solar will go to developing the 59.5 MW Ishikawa Sogo Solar Power Plant, which upon completion will be one of the largest mega solar projects in the Hokuriku region, and is estimated to be able to provide clean electricity to around 17,500 households, and displace approximately 35,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
“First Solar is committed to the development of Japan’s utility-scale solar industry,” the company said in its press release announcing the investment, adding that the existing (read: additional) construction loan of up to 4 billion yen ($33 million) financed by Mizuho Bank combines with the new financing to make First Solar “well positioned to develop, construct and operate various utility-scale solar projects” in the country.
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