Japan: Amended FIT Act - COD Cutoff Date And Possibility Of Panel Changes

Last Updated: 6 September 2016
Article by Yoichi Katayama and Minako Wakabayashi

In advance of the Act for Partial Amendment of the Act on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources by Electricity Utilities (2016 Act No. 59) that was established on May 25, 2016 and is coming into effect on April 1, 2017, at the end of July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI") announced an Ordinance for Partial Amendment of Enforcement Regulations for the Act on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources by Electricity Utilities (2016 METI Ordinance No. 84) together with a Notice of Partial Amendment of the Notice on Procurement Price and Procurement Period (July 29, 2016 METI Notice No. 212). The METI Agency for Natural Resources and Energy has also released various related documents and information.

Below is a summary of the much awaited amendments to the rules for setting Commercial Operation Date ("COD") cutoff dates and revising Feed-in Tariff ("FIT") price upon changes to panels.

I. Setting of COD Cutoff Date

1. Applicability

Applicable to PV projects that enter into grid interconnection agreements on or after August 1, 2016.

※ Specifically, such interconnection agreements must include matters related to payment of contribution in aid of construction; note that the names of applicable documents may vary depending on the electric company and scale of the power facility.

2. COD Cutoff Date

  1. Projects that obtain FIT approval in or after FY2017

    • 10kW and over: 3 years from approval date to COD
    • Less than 10kW: 1 year from approval date to COD
  2. Projects that obtained FIT approval in or before FY2016

    In principle, the initial date for calculation is the date of deemed approval under the New FIT Approval System (April 1, 2017 in principle). If, however, 1) approval is obtained on or after July 1, 2016 and an interconnection agreement is executed within 9 months after the day following the approval date; or 2) the project participates in the grid bidding process and an interconnection agreement is executed on or after April 1, 2017 but within 6 months of the date on which bidding ends, then the initial date for calculation is the date on which the interconnection agreement is executed.

3. Past Due Measures

10kW and over: FIT price is reduced or FIT term is shortened. Specific details (e.g. 5% reduction of the FIT price or 1 year reduction of FIT term for each year of delay) are to be determined after consideration by the Committee for Procurement Price, etc. this fall or later.

Less than 10kW: Approval becomes void.

II. Amendment of FIT Price Change Rules

Under the current rules for PV projects, if an application is made prior to COD for changes pertaining to PV module manufacturer or type, drop in conversion efficiency or drop in output that is equal to or greater than both 10KW and 20%, then the FIT price will be revised to the price that is applicable when the changes are approved. Under the amended rules, however, the FIT price will remain unrevised in the following cases even when changes are approved (the FIT price will continue to be changed to the price applicable upon approval if there is an increase in output).

1. Applicability

Applicable to PV projects that enter into grid interconnection agreements on or after August 1, 2016.

2. Amended Rules (changes are highlighted in yellow)

※ The FIT price applicable to "Revision" items is the FIT price for the fiscal year containing the later of either the date on which the interconnection agreement is executed or the date on which the change is approved. For "No Revision" items, the FIT price is not revised, even after a change is approved.

As described above, although PV projects that enter into grid interconnection agreements on or after August 1, 2016 can make changes to panels without an impact on the FIT price, there is now a cutoff date for COD. Given the need to balance the expansion of renewable energy with controlling costs to the public, these measures are intended to reduce discrepancies between the costs to install facilities that are projected when the FIT price is determined and the costs that are actually incurred, particularly as panel prices and other power generating costs have continued to decline for PV projects.

To the disappointment of many project operators, the amendments to COD cutoff date determination and rules for panel changes do not provide for any exceptions or exemptions in the case of 1) projects that anticipate long-term construction periods to begin with; 2) projects that require longer periods of time for interconnection (including interconnection bidding process projects); 3) projects that require longer periods of time to obtain environmental assessment and other permits and approvals pursuant to ordinances; and 4) projects that have already purchased panels and other equipment.

Further consideration must therefore be given to the construction period, the permits and approvals process and panel selection for PV projects that enter into grid interconnection agreements on and after August 1, 2016.

Amendments made under this latest ordinance also prescribe matters pertaining to application forms, approval standards, release of approval information, obligating distributors to purchase renewable energy and other transitional measures related to project planning approval under the new system.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
24 Oct 2019, Speaking Engagement, New York, United States

Orrick’s Lisa Lupion will serve as a panelist for an upcoming CLE program hosted by the New York County Lawyers Association entitled, “New Strategies in Sexual Harassment Investigation.”

25 Oct 2019, Speaking Engagement, New York, United States

A joint program of the American Arbitration Association and the Center for Labor and Employment Law at NYU School of Law

29 Oct 2019, Other, Portland, United States

Orrick is hosting an evening reception for Dive/In Day on October 29, 2019 in Portland, OR.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions