Japan’s 18th Solar Auction Yields Lowest Bid of $0.053/kWh

The selected project sizes of the 33 successful bids varied between 500 kW and 25.9 MW


The government of Japan has announced the results of the 18th utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects auction, allocating 105 MW to 33 successful bidders.

The state-run Green Investment Promotion Organization declared that the auction attracted bids totaling 177.8 MW. The competition specifically sought proposals falling into two categories: those ranging from 250 kW to 500 kW and those exceeding 500 kW.

A total of 69 business plans were submitted for bidding qualification review, resulting in 61 bids. The renewable energy generation facilities awarded had a combined output of 105,000 kW.

The successful bids varied in size, ranging from 500 kW to 25.9 MW. The lowest bid in the auction was ¥7.94 ($0.053)/kWh, while the highest bid reached ¥9.19 ($0.0607)/kWh. The overall average final price settled at ¥8.55 ($0.057)/kWh, slightly below the established ceiling price of ¥9.35 (~$0.060)/kWh.

Natural Energy SIPP9 LLC (Shizen Energy) secured the lowest bid, quoting a tariff of ¥7.94 (~$0.05)/kWh and winning power generation facilities with an output of 25,875 kW.

Other notable developers who participated in the tender were Daiwa House Industry, Japan Renewable Power Co., and Hokuriku Electric Power.

Compared with previous auctions, the most recent one surpasses its predecessors in terms of competitiveness. In the auction held in late August, the lowest price was JPY 8.95 ($0.061)/kWh, securing 69 MW of capacity.

In the 16th solar auction held in July this year, there were a total of 35 successful bids, and the lowest discovered tariff was ¥9 (~$0.062)/kWh. The weighted average bid price was ¥9.36 (~$0.064)/kWh.

In the 15th solar auction held in March, nine bidders were declared successful for a total capacity of 175 MW. The lowest bid discovered in the auction was ¥9.48 (~$0.065)/kWh. The weighted average bid price in the auction was ¥9.56 (~$0.065)/kWh.

Japan has set ambitious goals to increase the proportion of renewable energy in its electricity generation to 36%-38% by the decade’s end. Last year, the country transitioned from its renewable feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme to a feed-in-premium (FiP) program.

In this new program, developers are entitled to a premium between the FiP and average market prices. The inaugural FiP auction resulted in the allocation of 128.9 MW.

In October, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Government of India signed an agreement to establish a $600 million India-Japan Fund to address climate and environmental challenges.

In August, Japan’s Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators concluded the 17th auction for 69.07 MW of grid-connected solar power projects, announcing 55 successful bidders. The total bid capacity in the auction was 110.89 MW.