17 March 2017


Top 30 Solar Portfolios Japan

Author: Saori Minamino and Marcel Langone, Solarplaza

As part of our continuous involvement in the Japanese solar market, we again take stock of the solar asset ownership in the Japanese market, also comparing the current status to last year's situation to reflect on the changes regarding PV plant ownership. We have come up with a ‘Top 30’, for which we have considered industrial and utility-scale plants with a capacity above 10 kW. It can be seen that the market has remained highly dynamic, with many owners increasing the capacity of their solar portfolios.

Below we share an overview of the largest operational Solar PV Portfolios in Japan, as per the end of 2016. The below overview consists of  the  30 largest portfolios, which together account for 3.6 GW of capacity. This is an increase of almost 10% comparing to the same period of the previous year (3.3 GW by the end of 2015).

Main observations

  • ORIX corporation currently owns the largest portfolio in Japan, taking over from last year’s #1 Mitsui & Co, which slided down to the 4th place. ORIX more than tripled its owned capacity, mostly due to the growth of their rooftop solar business.
  • 6 new companies have entered the top 30 this year, with NRE being the biggest climber, ending up at the 16th place, with 102 MWp of capacity installed.
  • The top 10 portfolios account for 2.2 GW of installed capacity, corresponding to roughly 60% of the capacity of the top 30 portfolios.

  • All portfolios in the top 10 are larger than 110 MWp, while the 3 largest account for more than 200 MWp each.
  • The portfolio owners presented in this overview represent only 11% of the total 32.4 GW installed in Japan by the end of 2016, indicating that the market is still highly fragmented in terms of asset ownership.
  • The average plant size in the portfolios varies significantly, ranging from 1.5 to 46.3 MWp. The average plant size for the Top 10 portfolios is 17.3 MWp, while being 11.4 MWp for the Top 30. This constitutes an increase of 40% and 60% in size respectively, relative to last year. Overall we can observe  that in Japan the larger portfolios - on average - consist of larger plants and that over the last year many bigger plants have come online.

  • Plant size within a portfolio can also greatly vary: For instance SB Energy, Eurus Energy Holding and Mitsui & Co (partially) own plants larger than 100 MWp and smaller than 5 MWp.
  • 18 solar portfolios are fully owned by one company, significantly more than the 13 registered in our last edition of the Top 30 operational portfolios in Japan. This change was caused by new companies that entered the ranking, with all of them fully owning their assets.
  • Hokkaido continues to be the most represented region in terms of plant location. 11 out of the 30 largest portfolios have most of their plants located in Japan’s second largest island and its northernmost prefecture.

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