The world’s largest floating solar power installation planned in Japan

Engineers in Japan are hoping to harness the solar power with the construction of what will be the planet’s largest floating solar
power installation.

Japan’s
Kyocera Corporation has already leveraged the power of open water with
shoreline solar installations like the fixed Kagoshima Nanatsujima plant,
pictured below. The new project, however, will be built around 50,000 solar
collection modules actually afloat on the Yakamura Dam reservoir.


An
image of the Kyocera Corporation’s existing Kagoshima Nanatsujima power plant
in Japan. The company’s new project will be the largest fully-floating solar
installation in the world (Image credit: Kyocera)

The
modules will cover a water surface area of around 180,000 square meters.
Engineers estimate the plant will generate more than 15.6 megawatt hours (MWh)
per year. That’s enough to power approximately 4,700 average households. According
to the company’s projections, the floating power plant will gather enough solar
power from the surface of the dam to offset about 7,800 tons of carbon dioxide
emissions annually. The facility will also include an education center adjacent
to the plant, to provide classes for local students on environmental issues.

The
plant will be developed and operated by Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture
between Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. If the plant
sticks to its schedule, this will become the world’s largest floating solar
power plant in terms of capacity/output.

Image
Credit: Aerial view of the Yamakura Dam site, Kyocera

Kyocera
TCL was selected by Public Enterprises Agency for i
ndustrial water services in
Chiba Prefecture. The Kyocera group will supply, install, operate and maintain
the equipment for the solar plant, whereas Century Tokyo Leasing will provide
project financing. The modules will be installed using the French company Ciel et
Terre’s patented Hydrelio floating platforms.
Once installed, the plant will spread over a water
surface area of 180,0002 and deliver an estimated output of 15,635 MWh/year.
The electricity generated at the solar plant will be sold to Tokyo Electric
Power Co. for an estimated ¥450 million/year ($78.7 million/year).

“When
we first started R&D for solar energy in the mid 1970’s, the technology was
only viable for small applications such as street lamps, traffic signs and
telecommunication stations in mountainous areas,” said Nobuo Kitamura, Kyocera
senior executive officer, in press materials for the project. “Since then, we
have been working to make solar energy use more ubiquitous in society. We are
excited to work with our partners on this project, taking another step forward
by utilizing untapped bodies of water as solar power generation sites.”

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