Japanese power generation company West Holding, has put its solar energy plant online for bidding. This is said to be the biggest online auction in the history of Yafuoku — Yahoo Japan's online auction platform.

Based in Hiroshima, the 500kv solar power plant is owned by West Energy, a subsidiary of West Holdings. The bidding is scheduled for eight days starting from 12 February and is exclusively for registered members of the Yahoo auction site. It will be listed at a base price of ¥161mn (€1.2m, £944k ), excluding tax.

According to West Holding, finding buyers for the solar power plant and its equipment is a tedious task, involving meetings, paperwork, processes and negotiations, while internet bidding reaches out quickly to a wide range of bidders from individuals to small and medium businesses.

In 2012, the Japanese government had introduced a "feed-in" tariff for all power companies. It is a fixed amount paid to individuals or power houses for generating electricity using renewable means. Following this announcement, there was an influx of solar power plants in the country.

Online auctioning has been around for many years, where customers auction everything from vintage products to holiday packages. However, the sale of a solar power plant takes it to the next level and going forward, Yahoo Japan is expected to witness more such auctions, with more and more producers selling off their plants and equipment to the highest bidder.

The internet giant started the auction platform in 1999, under Yahoo Japan, a joint venture between Yahoo and Softbank. In 2015, it partnered with HAA Kobe Inc and Japan Automobile Auction to enlist used cars on the platform.

Yahoo Japan Auction deals in a wide range of products like automobiles, electronics and other products, but it was recently accused of auctioning elephant ivory. According to activists over 12 tonnes of ivory were sold through the platform during 2012 to 2014.

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