Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan announced on June 7, 2012, that it would start a roof rental business for prefecture-owned facilities to allow photovoltaic (PV) power generation. The business will take advantage of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme for renewable energy, to be introduced in July 2012. This is the nation's first initiative to decide participating private businesses involving the rental of roof space on public facilities for the installation of solar power systems through an application process. The prefecture aims to help introduce photovoltaic power generation to public facilities.
Facilities eligible for roof rentals are the 20 prefecture-owned facilities that have roof dimensions of 1,000 square meters or more and that fulfill earthquake resistance standards. The total dimensions of the roof space amounts to about 32,000 square meters.
After deciding on the facilities, the participating company will install photovoltaic power generation systems, and all of the generated electricity is then sold to power operators. The prefecture receives a rental fee for the roof space. The companies will be allowed to rent the roof space for 20 years, allowing them to engage in business throughout the duration of the FIT scheme for renewable energy.
With this initiative, the prefecture hopes to provide a business model for other prefectures in Japan to rent public facilities' roof space for solar power generation, as well as to revitalize local economy by enabling local companies to participate in the business, and to efficiently use prefecture-owned facilities.