PRACTICE AREAS

Environment and Energy Solar Power and Other Sources of Natural Energy

The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 pressed the need for changes in Japan’s energy policies.  Since then, solar power and other sources of natural energy have attracted remarkable attention and caused high expectations from society.  On August 26, 2011, the Japanese Diet passed “The Act on Special Measures concerning the Procurement of Renewable Electric Energy by Operators of Electric Utilities” (the "Act”), and when the Act took effect on July 1, 2012, a “Feed-in Tariff” for renewable energy was introduced.  At TMI, we took the initiative regarding the “Feed-in Tariff” and became experts on this system through great efforts.  As a result of such efforts, our firm has unrivaled experience and a proven track record in the area of solar power and other natural energy sources.

Legal Due Diligence
We offer a broad range of services regarding solar power and other sources of natural energy.  First, as for business sites, there are numerous restrictions under many different laws, such as the City Planning Act, various landscape laws, the Building Standards Act, the Act for Regulation of Preparing Housing Sites, etc., the River Act, the Forest Act, the Cultural Assets Preservation Act, the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act and so on.  At our firm, we provide legal due diligence services related to researching and reporting on the approvals and notifications required under these laws for solar power projects and the like.  Also, our legal due diligence services include conducting research and reviewing the rights relationships for the given business site (such as ownership, lease rights and mortgages) to provide advice related to building and the rights necessary to run business stably.

Advice on the Electricity Business Act, and the Act on Special Measures on Renewable Energy
In operating businesses relating to solar power and other sources of natural energy, the Electricity Business Act and other regulations related to a given business site must be complied with.  Further, procedures such as creating and getting approval for operational safety programs, selecting a chief engineer and other related personnel and notifying authorities of the same must be completed.  Also, when participating in the “Feed-in Tariff” system under the Act on Special Measures on Renewable Energy, please note that terms such as purchase prices will be determined in accordance with the timing of the completion of procedures prescribed in the Act, such as obtaining equipment certification and bidding for power supply contracts with the operators of electric power facilities.   At our firm, we provide advice related to the required procedures under the Electricity Business Act and the Act on Special Measures on Renewable Energy to support clients’ operations in accordance with their schedules and plans.

Advice Related to Various Contracts
In conducting business relating to solar power and other natural energy sources, various contracts need to be executed, such as leases/sales for renting/acquiring business sites, EPC contracts for constructing electric power facilities, O&M contracts for maintaining and managing electric power facilities, specified contracts to sell electricity to electric companies, and so on.  At our firm, we provide necessary advice on drafting various contracts based on our abundant know-how developed through our experience and achievements.  In doing so, we eliminate clients’ unexpected risks and build and maintain business relationships with the related parties. 

Advice Related to Creation of Funds and Project Finance
With the introduction of the “Feed-in Tariff” system, business relating to solar power and other natural energy sources is attracting attention from domestic and international investors as a target for investment.  The form of investment in such business varies such as investment by single individuals or entities, joint ventures of a few members or funds formed by many investors.  At our firm, in accordance with the form of investment, we provide advice on schemes regarding the required vehicles, investment contracts, creation of funds and others.  Also, we serve as legal advisors for employers and financial institutions regarding project financing for solar power and other natural energy sources business, since the related funding is often prepared by project financing.

Attorneys in this Practice Area

Related Articles and Publications

2019/04/29ARTICLE “Future Prospects for the Offshore Wind Power Generation Business and Financing Consideration”
2018/11/01ARTICLE “Revision of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Scheme (Responses to Idle Properties)”
2014/06/03ARTICLE “Legal Practice and Points to Consider in ABL (Asset Based Lending) Regarding Solar Power”

Related Seminars and Lectures

2019/07/25EXTERNAL “Practice and Finance in Offshore Wind Power Generation – Based on the Act of Promoting Utilization of Sea Areas in Development of Power Generation Facilities Using Maritime Renewable Energy Sources”
2019/06/21EXTERNAL “Pitfalls and Points of Secondary Transactions of the Rapidly Growing Power Generation Business: Points for Establishing Funds for a Power Generation Business and Exit Strategies Involving Investment Corporations Listed on Infrastructure Fund Markets”
2019/03/06EXTERNAL “Acquiring a Power Generation Business after the Commencement of Commercial Operations / Secondary Transactions of a Power Generation Business / Points for Establishing Funds for a Power Generation Business / Exit Strategy Involving Investment Corporations Listed on Fund Markets”
2019/02/26EXTERNAL “M&A in the Renewable Energy Business and Financing by Securitization”
2019/02/20EXTERNAL “Secondary Transactions and Financing in the Power Generation Business – Establishment of Funds for a Power Generation Business and Exit Strategies Involving Infrastructure Investment Funds Corporations”
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