Asia Business Channel

Osaka Leases School Rooftops For Solar Power

The government of Osaka City has begun to lease the rooftops of elementary and junior high schools in the city for solar power generation. Under the proposed government plans, 14MW (Mega Watts) of solar panels will be installed on the rooftops of 275 elementary schools and 122 junior high schools throughout the city and will be leased to private power producers to install solar panels.

The official name of the project of leasing rooftops is the "Project for Promoting Solar Panel Installation Through Permission to Use Space on Roofs of Buildings Constructed by the City for Purposes Other Than the Original Intent." All the electricity generated with the panels will be sold in principle. The fee for using space on roofs will be decided based on proposals but higher than ¥100/m2 (excluding tax). Project partners include RNH Solar Nishi Nihon GK, Shibata Kogyo Co Ltd, Hanwha Q Cells Japan Co. Ltd and Rakuten Inc.

The project period is up to 20 years and power generation need to be started within three years after a project plan is certified based on the FIT (feed-in tariff) policy. Only the four companies (above) submitted initial proposals with other companies adopting a cautious “wait and see” attitude.

The government of Osaka City has established the "Osaka Energy Local Production/Local Consumption Promotion Plan" for promoting the introduction of renewable energy and effort is part of the plan. It is expected that a successful rollout of the school rooftop solar generation will lead to other governments and private entities throughout Japan enacting similar programs that will lead to increased renewable energy production throughout the country.

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