Renewable Alert Letter 32: METI Operation Change

Changes to Business Plan before Completion of Transition to New FIT Scheme | July.21.2017

日本語:運用変更 - 新制度移行完了前の事業計画変更 

A FIT facilities approval (setsubi nintei) under the old FIT Act may be deemed as a FIT business plan approval (jigyo nintei) subject to certain conditions under the new FIT Act.  However, in order to complete the transition of the subject project to the new FIT scheme, submission of a business plan (jigyo keikaku) by the designated due date is required.  As introduced in our Alert Letter No. 30, there is an institutional restriction that any amendment to FIT approval is not allowed until completion of METI's confirmation of the business plan under the new FIT scheme.  Accordingly, the issue of METI's confirmation process for business plan reviews taking longer than expected has recently caused some practical concerns possibly affecting the FIT prices of certain projects.  Also, in relation to the amendment plans for overloading restrictions (kasekisai kisei), as raised in our Alert Letter No. 31, such issue due to procedural time constraints of METI has caused a serious problem.

 

Outline of such proposed revisions are as follows:

Subject Project: Projects other than solar projects with generation outputs less than 50 kW
Operation Change: To accept deemed FIT business plan approval holders' submissions of applications for business plan amendment approval and notifications for business plan amendment before completion of METI's review of business plans
Requirement: To have submitted a business plan

 

According to METI, as long as a business plan is submitted prior to submission of the Amendment Approval Applications and Amendment Notifications, such requirement is satisfied.  With respect to the Amendment Notifications for the matters that are currently subject to amendment notification (henko todokede) but will be subject to amendment approval (henko nintei) after implementation of the above-mentioned amendment plans for overloading restrictions (i.e., total solar cell output and others), it should be noted that such notification documents need to be actually received by METI on or prior to the previous date to the implementation date of such amendment plans.  After METI's receipt of such Amendment Approval Applications and Amendment Notifications, METI local offices will start their substantive reviews of such application and check of formality requirements of such notifications without waiting for completion of business plan reviews.

Especially in relation to the amendment plans for overloading restrictions, this operation change would work as certain relief measures for the operators who were not able to timely submit minor change notifications (on change of total solar cell output) due to METI's system change upon the transition from the old FIT scheme to the new FIT scheme in the end of the last fiscal year and do not have any option other than to wait for METI's completion of business plan reviews.