Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Co has announced it is to build two solar power plants.

The plants in Fukui prefecture in western Japan would generate 1m kWh a year and would be operational by 2015, according to Osaka-based Kepco.

In September, Kepco started operating a solar facility in Sakai City, Osaka, and is eyeing further PV opportunities as Japan tries to move away from nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Japanese technology giant Panasonic is to build a solar cell factory in Malaysia.

Panasonic said that once operational, the $582m project would increase its annual global solar manufacturing production by 50 per cent to 900 MW.