Amazon inks PPA with Itochu in Japan for 38MW solar deployment


US retail giant Amazon has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Japanese conglomerate Itochu to purchase solar energy.

According to reports from Nikkei, Clean Energy Connect (CEC), a solar power company within the Itochu group, has entered a 20-year corporate PPA to sell renewable energy to Amazon.

CEC will invest over 10 billion yen ($75 million) by fiscal 2024 to construct small solar power plants exclusively for Amazon at approximately 700 locations in Japan, with a total capacity of 38 MW.

In February, Amazon announced several new renewable investments, including a ‘38MW utility-scale solar project’ in Japan without providing more details.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) operates two Japanese cloud regions: one in Tokyo, which opened in 2011, and the other in Osaka, launched in 2021. The company also has a Wavelength Zone in each city through its partnership with KDDI.

The company has invested in a 38MW solar farm in Honshu and a 22MW solar farm in Ōta on the outskirts of Tokyo, according to Amazon’s sustainability site.

In 2021, Amazon inked a solar PPA with Mitsubishi in 2021 for a 22MW solar project  in Tokyo. The project comprises ground-based solar power generation installations at over 450 locations.

CEC plans to develop small solar power plants at 5,000 idle sites in Japan by fiscal 2025 and has already signed purchase agreements with NTT and other companies.

In the US, Itochu, through its subsidiary Tyr Energy, is collaborating with US energy company General Electric and an investment fund to build a wind power plant near Houston. The 160MW plant, expected to be completed by the end of this year, will provide electricity to Meta for 15 years.

PPAs are less common in Japan compared to countries like the US, with one report from last year suggesting that there are less than two dozen such agreements in the country at that time.

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