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29 September 2014

Mott MacDonald to supervise construction of Japan’s largest solar plant

Mott MacDonald is to supervise construction of Japan’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, the approximately US$1.1 billion Kuni-Umi facility in the city of Setouchi. The consultancy acted as owner’s engineer during the development phase of the project, which has successfully reached financial close. Construction will be undertaken by Toyo Engineering Corporation and Shimizu Corporation.

The 230MW Kuni-Umi plant fits in with Japan’s broader strategy to diversify its power generation capabilities. It will sell electricity for a 20-year period to the Chugoku Electric Power Company and will include a new 110kV, 16km underground transmission line which will travel through a residential area and cross several major rivers.

Mott MacDonald assessed plant performance and drafted plant test procedures, supported contract negotiations and advised on procurement during the development phase of the project. Drawing on its extensive global experience, the consultancy will now supervise civil, electrical, structural and instrumentation system implementation work and review detailed plant designs against local codes and international practice for solar PV projects.

Philip Napier-Moore, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “In Japan, Mott MacDonald is working with international investors on 23 solar plants totalling 720MW of power. We’re seeing a trend of increasing scale, of which this project represents the current culmination.”

“If the same output were to be met using coal-fired generation, 5.4MT of CO2 would be emitted. The Kuni-Umi plant will be zero carbon in generation over its 20-year design life,” Philip added.

The plant is due to become operational by spring 2019.

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