Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) — Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., the Japanese refining unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Development Bank of Japan Inc. agreed to set up a venture to finance utility-scale solar power plants in Japan.

Solar Frontier K.K., a unit of Showa Shell, will take a 60 percent stake in the venture, while state-run DBJ will hold the rest, Solar Frontier said in a statement today. The venture will invest in projects totaling 100 megawatts a year, according to the statement.

The partners could finance projects worth as much as 40 billion yen ($454 million) a year, the Nikkei newspaper reported earlier, without saying where it got the information.

Solar Frontier will supply its thin-film panels for the venture, according to Akane Yamiya, a company spokeswoman. She declined to comment on yearly project funding.

Solar Frontier makes panels using copper, indium, gallium and selenium, known as CIGS.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net