Global Solar Energy Inc. has announced its expansion into Japan’s growing on-site solar market, offering a new design of its PowerFLEX BIPV system that has been adapted specifically for use on Japanese rooftops.

Together with partners CBC Co. Ltd, Eco Holdings and OG Corporation, Global Solar of the US is aiming to help Japanese businesses adopt this flexible solar roofing module and take advantage of the country’s new feed-in tariff (FiT).

On 1 July, the Japanese government’s new FiT programme came into effect, requiring utilities to pay 42 yen ($0.52) per kWh for 20 years from solar plants generating 10 kW or more of electricity.

“With its recent FiT programme and proven dedication to integrating more renewable energy into its utilities’ portfolio mix, Japan will prove to be one of the most important markets for solar in the coming years,” said Jean-Noel Poirier, chief sales officer, Global Solar.

“Recognizing the desire of many Japanese businesses to reap the benefits of the FIT programme while also maintaining the aesthetics of their buildings, Global Solar offers an alternative to traditional heavy and rigid glass modules, as well as other flexible PV [photovoltaic] products,” added Poirier.

With 12.6 per cent aperture efficiency, the PowerFLEX BIPV module delivers the highest efficiency in the flexible module sector. Its large format and a high power density (300 W) reduces installation and balance of system costs, says Global Solar.

With a lightweight and flexible design, the PowerFLEX BIPV system is described as “a perfect solution” for commercial roofs where traditional glass solar modules are too heavy.

At the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories, a new four-metre long module (200 Wp) PowerFLEX BIPV system specially designed for the Japanese market, complete with a back junction box for seamless integration into various roofing systems, is undergoing certification.

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