IBC SOLAR receives EPC license in Japan

German company expands its project business within the Japanese market.

IBC SOLAR AG, a global leader in photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage, is to further expand its project business within the Japanese market. The company, which has been active as a project developer in Japan for several years, has now applied for the official EPC license. Upon the granting of the license, IBC SOLAR will be one of the few internationally-active EPC companies officially licensed to build large-scale turnkey projects in Japan through its own local corporation. IBC SOLAR expects the licensing in July 2016.

This enables the company to expand its range of services within the Japanese market. “We are happy to make an even bigger contribution to the Japanese energy transition with the EPC license. The change in the political climate in recent years, as well as related funding programmes and feed-in tariffs, are making Japan a very interesting market economically”, says Harald Bultmann, Director EPC International. Besides the presence of a local office and the submission of an official application to the relevant authorities, the requirements for a license state that the employment of licensed engineers who have obtained specific qualifications only available in Japan is necessary. Furthermore, they have to demonstrate ten years of professional experience. There are also requirements relating to the reliability and financial solidity of the company.

So far, IBC SOLAR has already implemented its first few projects as an EPCM contractual partner, such as a 2.3 MWp solar power plant in Sakura (north of Tokyo). While in this particular model a local construction partner is required to take on responsibility for the construction, IBC SOLAR is now able not only to develop PV projects but to realise the construction of turnkey projects by itself thanks to the new license. Throughout 2016, the company plans to finalise solar projects which will have a total capacity of 20 MW. In order to reach this goal, IBC SOLAR will be working closely with local subcontractors on a long-term basis.

This new step into the Japanese market is a useful extension of the PV specialist’s offerings: the focus is on sophisticated solutions, and ranges from front-end engineering and the national and international procurement of quality components, right up to levelling of surface areas and to full installation. IBC SOLAR specialises in smaller projects (between 1 and 5 MWp) in topographically challenging areas. With its numerous characteristics and particularly high safety regulations, experience is the key to achieving sustained business success in such a complex market.

Local projects with international expertise

IBC SOLAR’s regional subsidiary is currently working on two PV projects; since the beginning of June 2016, a 0.5 MWp has been under construction in the Gifu prefecture. The system is located on a small terraced and, in relation to its design, demanding area. Thanks to smooth cooperation with local partners, the construction is projected to finish in July 2016. Within the same timeframe, the company will also be implementing another project in Fuchumachi (Toyama prefecture) with 1.6 MWp, after the project was able to be secured exclusively by IBC SOLAR. “The location is topographically very demanding: on the one hand, we have to take into account that heavy snowfall is a very real possibility, but on the other, the soil at this location is very loose, which in itself has special requirements in regards to the structural engineering. Here, we will benefit from IBC SOLAR’s extensive experience of the global implementation of large-scale projects”, explains Bultmann.

As one of the oldest and most experienced PV suppliers globally, IBC SOLAR is able to bring valuable experience to the Japanese PV market. Extensive knowledge in the planning and installation of large-scale projects, as well as the firm’s solid economic structure, provides IBC SOLAR’s clients with smooth financing in cooperation with local financial institutes. Thanks to an extended quality assurance and control during the whole value chain, IBC SOLAR is able to secure the maximum efficiency of a PV system, and is able to offer clients and investors long-term planning security for their investments, as well as a secured cash flow.