GE Energy Invests in Japan's Renewable Energy Market
Japan has been actively seeking power alternatives in response to the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster of 2011, and a developing solar photovoltaic project backed by General Electric’s Financial Service unit has been designed to help the nation become less dependent on nuclear energy.
The 32-megawatt project, known as Kumenan, also includes project developer Pacifico Energy and is part of GE Energy Financial Services’ plan to invest more than $1billion annually in renewable energy projects. Financing for Kumenan was supported by a $107 million loan from The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and The Chugoku Bank.
Kumenan, located in the Okayama Prefecture, has already begun construction and is expected to reach commercial operations in the first quarter of 2016. It is slated to sell power to a regional utility through a twenty-year agreement upon receiving approval from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Construction and operations are being managed by Pacifico, a solar project developer in Tokyo and subsidiary of Virginia Solar Group. Toyo Engineering is constructing the project, with photovoltaic modules supplied by Yingli Green Energy. Pacifico Energy, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Tokyo, has four large-scale solar energy projects planned for 2014 totaling 200-megawatts. Toyo Engineering was established in 1961 and serves the hydrocarbons and petrochemical sectors worldwide. Yingli Green Energy develops, manufactures and sells solar modules under the name Yingli Solar and has deployed over 7 GW of solar modules worldwide.
Japan hopes to produce 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.
Kumenan will help Japan to meet its renewable energy goals and will set the stage for future investments by the GE unit. President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services commented on the project by saying, “Our investment in Kumenan advances our global growth into new markets with a strong risk-return profile.”
GE has made investment commitments of $1.8 billion in equity and debt in more than one gigawatt of solar power projects worldwide. The company also intends to finance Japan's largest solar project, a proposed $777 million solar energy facility in Setouchi.
Tesla records $1.1bn quarterly profit
Tesla recorded $1.1 billion net income in the second quarter, for the first time in its history, overcoming semiconductor chip shortages and other supply chain challenges.
Spurred by record levels of global demand and 'never-before-seen inflection point' for electric vehicles, production ran close to full capacity, and a quarterly highlight was the launch of the Tesla Vision. Total revenues were just under $12 billion and year-on-year production increased from 180,338 models to 206,421.
Technology will continue to be key to the carmaker's future. "Solving full autonomy is a difficult engineering challenge in which we continue to believe can only be solved through the collection of large, real-world datasets and cutting-edge AI," it said.
Progress is being made on the industrialisation of the Cybertruck, which is earmarked for production at Austin. The removal of radar, which is enabled by its collection of a vast dataset of corner cases, allows Tesla to focus on vision and increase the pace of improvement - the first customers have downloaded FSD V9 Beta this month.
Geographic production breakdowns were as follows:
- US California and Texas production ramp of Model S progressed and majority of all Model 3/Y was delivered, and Texas Gigafactory (pictured below) continues to progress
- Shanghai production remained strong despite 'minor' supply chain challenges and Tesla has completed the transition of Gigafactory Shanghai as the primary vehicle export hub
- Europe Berlin-Brandenburg demand (main photo) remains well above supply, resulting in growing wait times for delivery, and new equipment and testing tools are being introduced, with growing import volumes in the interim
- The company is "on track" to build its first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin this year but pressures on batteries and supply chains means the Semi truck program has been pushed back to 2022
Tesla said it has successfully validated performance and lifetime of its 4680 battery cells produced at its Kato facility in California but "we still have work ahead of us" before it can achieve volume production. Energy storage deployments more than tripled, driven mainly by several Megapack projects, although energy storage production continues to be held back by supply chain challenges, given its long backlog. Solar deployments reached 85MW in Q2, a triple jump on Q2 2020.
Gigafactory Texas: Model Y factory construction