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January 6, 2014
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten, Ecosystem Japan, and
Hanwha Q CELLS Japan Establish a Special Purpose Company for Photovoltaic System Project

Japan’s first project finance arrangement involving multiple companies
in photovoltaic systems sector

TOKYO, January 7, 2014 – Rakuten, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary RS Empowerment Inc. (RSE), established RNH Solar Nishi Nihon GK (RNH Solar), a special purpose company (SPC), together with Ecosystem Japan Co., Ltd. and Hanwha Q CELLS Japan, that will launch a photovoltaic (PV) system project using the rooftops of Rakuten Travel’s contract accommodation providers and corporate warehouses.

RNH Solar has arranged project financing to fund the installation and operation of three megawatts worth of PV panels through rooftop lease agreements primarily in Western Japan, and concluded an agreement with The Kansaiurbangin Lease Co., Ltd. to secure the necessary capital to fund this project.

This project finance deal represents the first of its kind1 in Japan, because unlike ordinary project finance deals involving the facilities of the same corporate group, this deal is based on rooftop lease agreements with around 100 different companies. Kansaiurbangin Lease will lease the necessary equipment for the PV systems, while Ecosystem Japan will be responsible for installation, operation, and maintenance; and Rakuten Solar will cover the asset management aspect of the project. Rakuten has also teamed up with a major Japanese insurance company to develop a new Comprehensive PV System Coverage Plan. In addition to the same coverage as ordinary property insurance, this plan will enhance the stability of the project’s income streams by covering and limiting the risks associated with a drop in electricity sales due to a natural disaster.

This project uses a non-recourse project finance loan that is secured only by the investments in anonymous association and the electricity sales generated from the PV systems. The loan will be executed using a GK-TK scheme involving a Godo Kaisha (limited liability company) and Tokumei Kumiai (anonymous association), which offers the advantage of reducing the risks for investors. All of the electricity generated from this project will be sold to general electricity utilities for the following 20 years, in accordance with the power purchase agreement concluded based on Feed-in Tariff Scheme for Renewable Energy in Japan.

The first company to conclude a rooftop lease agreement for this project is Yunogo Kanko Hotel Katsuragi, Rakuten Travel accommodation.

In July 2012, Rakuten launched Rakuten Solar, a solar power system sales service and also began selling industrial PV systems in October 2012. Less than 10 percent of the industrial PV systems (more than 10kW) that have completed the necessary pre-operation certification process by the end of March 2013 had actually begun operating at the end of May 20132, indicating a potential business opportunity. In addition to its own sales channels, Rakuten Solar will also approach projects that have been certified but yet to begin construction in order to win installation orders. Rakuten Solar will also explore new project financing schemes in line with a number of parties involved and scale.  

About RNH Solar
Company name                 RNH Solar Nishi Nihon GK
Representative Employee  RN Solar Asset Management
Functional Manager           Kiyohiko Ide
Head office                        Minato-ku, Tokyo
Established                        October 2013
Paid-in capital                    500,000 yen
Purpose                              1. Electricity generation using renewable energy and supply operations
                                            2. Real estate leasing, maintenance, and management
                                            3. Businesses ancillary or related to the items above.
Website                                http://solar.rakuten.co.jp/campaign/roofrental/kansai/index.html

About Ecosystem Japan
Company name                 Ecosystem Japan Co., Ltd.
Established                        May 1997
Location                             Minato-ku, Tokyo
Representative                   Representative Director & President Masato Nakamura
Business lines                    1. PV system sales and installation work
                                           2. All businesses ancillary to the above

About Hanwha Q CELLS Japan
Company name                 Hanwha Q CELLS Japan Co., Ltd.
Established                        February 1984
Location                             Minato-ku, Tokyo
Representative                   Representative Director & President Jongso Kim
Business lines                    Sales and import/export of PV equipment (monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon PV modules) and accessories PV systems

About Kansaiurbangin Lease
Company name                 The Kansaiurbangin Lease Co., Ltd.
Established                        February 1, 1975
Location                             Osaka-shi, Osaka
Representative                   Representative Director & President Takahiro Yamaguchi
Business lines                    1. Leasing of various machinery including information equipment, industrial machinery, machine tools, 
                                            communication equipment, construction equipment, medical equipment and transportation equipment.
                                            2. Leasing of various equipment, fixtures and facilities for tourism, entertainment, restaurants, 
                                            distribution, education, housing and industrial pollution prevention applications
                                            3. Vehicle leasing
                                            4. Loans and credit guarantees
                                            5. All businesses related to the above

1. According to a study conducted by Rakuten on the number of projects released as of the current date.
2. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry news release (August 20, 2013)
“Announcement Regarding the Present Status of Introduction of Facilities Generating Renewable Energy as of May 31, 2013”
http://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2013/0820_01.html

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